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Lotus seat 'hot property' - Boullier

ESPN Staff
October 21, 2013 « P2 would be 'amazing' - Boullier | Nigel Mansell slams new weight limits »
Lotus is the highest-placed team in the constructors' championship with a vacant seat for 2014 © Sutton Images

Eric Boullier says the vacant seat at Lotus "is pretty hot property at the moment" as the team looks to replace Kimi Raikkonen.

With Raikkonen returning to Ferrari in 2014, Lotus has at least one seat available, with Romain Grosjean expected to be retained after an impressive recent run of form. While Boullier is happy to list the benefits of keeping Grosjean he says the team will take its time over picking its 2014 line-up as it currently has the most competitive seat available on the grid.

"There are no announcements yet but there is plenty going on behind the scenes," Boullier said. "We know that Kimi is headed elsewhere for next season, but we also know that Romain would bring good continuity as well as the strong performance potential we've seen recently. There are a number of other good drivers on the market at the moment, so we're in a strong position of being able to assess the possibilities. A race seat with Lotus F1 Team is pretty hot property at the moment, so we're confident we'll have a strong line-up in 2014."

With technical director James Allison and head of aerodynamics Dirk de Beer having left Lotus to join Ferrari this season, Boullier said recent car improvements showed the team's strength in depth.

"It's true we've had a few people leave in 2013, but we've also been recruiting ourselves. There's been quite a lot of movement recently; not just within Enstone, but between other teams too. It's part of the sport and always has been.

"The strength of our technical department can be seen by the successful introduction of the long wheelbase E21. 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."