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Boullier not bitter at Raikkonen exit

ESPN Staff
September 12, 2013 « Both drivers start equal - Domenicali | Vettel welcomes Ricciardo appointment »
Kimi Raikkonen has taken two victories and 11 other podiums in his time with Lotus so far © Sutton Images

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says he is not bitter about Kimi Raikkonen's decision to leave for Ferrari.

Raikkonen will return to the team where he won his drivers' championship in 2007 next season, leaving Lotus after two years since his comeback to Formula One at the start of 2012. Despite losing a driver who has won both of the team's races in that time and consistently been a threat in the championship, Boullier was keen to focus on what a success the partnership had been.

Asked if he was bitter at Raikkonen leaving the team, Boullier replied: "Not at all.

"Two years ago, when we decided to sign him, quite a few people thought we were crazy. And what happened in the end? We've been working with an amazing racer, who scored points for the team 27 times in a row, won two races, put motivation at a very high level at Enstone, and got on very well with his team-mate.

"Now, it's time to think about the future. You know, we remain a medium-sized team and there are some areas in which we're not in a position to fight against the other top teams just yet. We've had [Michael] Schumacher, [Fernando] Alonso, [Kimi] Räikkönen. New champions will join the list here soon I'm sure."

However, Boullier was willing to admit his frustration at losing Raikkonen after such a positive two seasons.

"Of course this is a disappointment to all of us, and we're sure you will agree that Kimi has been nothing but brilliant since he joined us. In the same breath, Enstone has once again proven its pedigree; providing him with two great cars and making his return to Formula 1 a success. It's been a win-win situation right from the beginning."