Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Lotus: Second in the championship 'very attainable' 18 Oct 2013

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race Day, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 13 October 2013 Eric Boullier (FRA) Lotus F1 Team Principal.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 11 October 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21 leads at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race Day, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 13 October 2013 Podium and results:
1st Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, centre.
2nd Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing, left.
3rd Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1, right.
Remi Taffin (FRA) Head of Renault Sport F1 Track Operations, far left, collected the constructors trophy.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Race Day, Suzuka, Japan, Sunday, 13 October 2013 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Qualifying, Suzuka, Japan, Saturday, 12 October 2013

Team principal Eric Boullier believes that Lotus finishing second in the 2013 constructors’ championship is a realistic prospect, if they are able to maintain their recent run of strong form.

Lotus have scored more points than any team bar Red Bull in the last two races, and though they lie fourth in the standings with four rounds remaining, they are only 23 points behind third-placed Mercedes and just 33 adrift of second-placed Ferrari, both of whom have struggled in recent Grands Prix.

“If we continue as we have done for the last few races, then mathematically second in the standings becomes a very attainable target,” said Boullier. “Of course, we all know that anything can happen in this sport, but second place would be an amazing result so we’ll push as hard as we can and you never know what might happen.”

Lotus’s upturn in form has accompanied the recent introduction of a long-wheelbase version of their E21 car, and trackside operations director Alan Permane believes the improving results are no coincidence.

“There’s no doubt that the long-wheelbase car has benefitted our performance,” said Permane. “It’s difficult to put a figure on it with the fundamental change it has been, but it’s an endorsement of all the simulator and modelling work we did in this area. We’re qualifying better, racing better and we’ve been on the podium for the last three races at a variety of tracks from Singapore to Suzuka.

“These are about as different as you can get - one being a street circuit with super soft tyres, the other a very quick, flowing circuit on hard tyres - but it’s clear that the E21 is working well on all variety of layouts. Add this to our increasing knowledge of the tyres, a few aerodynamic tweaks and both drivers being at the top of their game, and we’re looking good.”

Boullier also asserts that Lotus’s ability to evolve and improve the car at this late stage of the season is proof that their technical team has not suffered from the recent loss of former technical director James Allison to Ferrari.

“The strength of our technical department can be seen by the successful introduction of the long wheelbase E21,” he commented. “This change was driven by a new approach to how we develop the car and it’s been a valuable proof of concept as we look to develop next year’s model. I’m confident we can continue our recent run of form and improvement next year.”

After four top-three finishes from the last three rounds, Boullier says Lotus’s aim for the rest of the season is more ‘podiums, podiums and podiums’ - or something even higher should the opportunity present itself.

“Of course, we want to be winning races and we’ll give our all whenever there is a sniff of victory, just like in Japan. There’s one fundamental problem with trying to win at the moment, and that’s the pace of the Red Bulls. We’ll keep pushing and if we can beat them again this year it would be a tremendous performance.”

For tickets and travel to 2013 FORMULA 1 races, click here.
For FORMULA 1 merchandise, click here.