Singapore GP: Eric Boullier – Lotus will push like hell
By Berthold Bouman
After a tough race at Monza with Romain Grosjean sidelined and Kimi Raikkonen struggling to keep fifth position, Lotus will now ‘push like hell’, according to Team Principal Eric Boullier. “We were not really disappointed with fifth position, as it was the best result we could hope for. Actually, it felt quite strange not to head to the podium at the end of the race, which says a lot about our mindset at present,” Boullier said about the Italian Grand Prix.
Lotus will not race the Double DRS system the team has developed, they didn’t have the time to properly test it, and it would not suit the Marina Bay circuit anyway. Boullier was cautiously optimistic about the new device, but Lotus will not run it until the Japanese Grand Prix.
But the team does have a few upgrades for Singapore, which could bring some extra speed. “We have a few upgrades scheduled for Singapore and they should bring some extra performance.” Lotus has also worked on their pit stops and Boullier is confident the team has made a step forward, “We broke our all-time record in Monza with 2.44 seconds, but most importantly all of our pit stops were consistent.”
Of course, everyone wants to know about Romain Grosjean, who after his accident at Spa, where he eliminated two of the main championship contenders Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, was banned from the Italian Grand Prix and had to watch the race from the Lotus garage.
“He’s in good spirits. Monza was tough for him, but there are also some positives to take from this experience. For example, Romain has followed Kimi’s weekend quite closely and I’m sure that he has noticed a few useful tricks. Now, the situation is back to normal and I hope we can put this story behind us,” commented Boullier.
But Lotus did lose third position in the Constructors’ Championship to Ferrari, but Boullier wasn’t really worried about it. “We’ve always said that fourth was our goal this year but looking at our pace, it would be legitimate to try and have a go at third if we can. The pack is so tight that anything is possible. We just need to score points – consistently and with both cars – until the end of the season,” he explained.
Asked about Raikkonen’s title hopes he said, “He’s currently third, one point away from Lewis Hamilton. Anything can happen. We’re not naive though, and we know that his chances are slim. However, we’ll push like hell as long as there is a mathematical chance of winning it!”