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Eric Boullier Q&A: Renault must raise game soon 26 Jul 2011

Eric Boullier (FRA) Lotus Renault GP Team Principal. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Valencia, Spain, Friday, 24 June 2011 Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Race, Nurburgring, Germany, Sunday, 24 July 2011 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Lotus Renault GP R31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 23 July 2011 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Lotus Renault GP R31 passes team mate Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 23 July 2011 Vitaly Petrov (RUS) Lotus Renault GP on the podium. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 27 March 2011

After showing plenty of promise at the season’s opening rounds, Renault’s R31 has failed to deliver at recent races and the team has now fallen 12 points behind Mercedes in the standings. With fellow midfielders Sauber and Force India starting to nip at their heels too, Renault team principal Eric Boullier is keen to see signs of improvement soon…

Q: Germany - not the result the team was hoping for?
Eric Boullier:
No, it wasn’t the result we were looking for. We came to the Nurburgring with some developments to the car, which gave us higher hopes going into the weekend. Vitaly (Petrov) put in a determined drive (to tenth), while lady luck did not favour Nick (Heidfeld) when he was working his way back up the field after falling back to 22nd position. It was another point gained for us, but really we were well below par, and it was not the weekend we expected it to be. It was not good enough, and at the Hungarian Grand Prix we will try and get back on track, although there will be no significant revisions to the car until after the summer break.

Q: We now move to Hungary, a race that was introduced back in 1986 - how important is this fixture to the F1 calendar?
EB:
Yes, Hungary has been a big part of Formula One for 25 years now. It was a completely groundbreaking move to make it a race venue back in the mid-1980s, and I think the decision to do so has been vindicated. It put F1 on the map, and behind the Iron Curtain for the first time; it has helped raise its profile in a part of Europe where the sport had not travelled. We know that when we get to Hungary there will be fans everywhere; the Hungarian people love their motorsport and we’re really looking forward to getting our campaign back on-track in front of a motor racing-mad crowd. Make no mistake, we will try to give the LRGP fans in Budapest something to cheer about this weekend, even if the podium looks a bit far from us at the moment.

Q: It’s the final Grand Prix before the summer break - what are your expectations?
EB:
I’ve expected improvement from our car for a number of races now, and we are making improvement, but we have got to get our heads down and make bigger strides. It’s a competitive field out there, with Force India and Sauber also competing in higher positions, so we’ve got to raise our game starting in Hungary.

Q: We’re halfway through the season - what have you made of it, and what’s to come?
EB:
Well, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m not satisfied with where we are, no one in the team is. We started the season well, but that feels like a while ago now and we have to face the facts, which are that we’ve been off the pace and we are trying hard to put that right. We brought some developments to the car in Germany, which didn’t produce nearly enough so we are now all eyes forward to Hungary to ensure we have the opportunity to head on our summer breaks on a high.

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