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No downside to Raikkonen - Boullier

ESPN Staff
July 24, 2012 « Ferrari still believes in Massa - Domenicali | Wolff becomes Williams executive director »
Kimi Raikkonen is now fourth in the drivers' standings © Press Association
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Lotus boss Eric Boullier says there has been no downside to having Kimi Raikkonen in his team this season after the Finn took his fourth podium of the year in Germany.

Raikkonen finished third in Germany after Sebastian Vettel post-race penalty was taken into account and he is now fourth in the drivers' standings overall. Earlier in the year there were suggestions that Raikkonen's relationship with Lotus was being stretched due to some difficulties getting the car's power steering, but when asked about his star driver Boullier struggled to find fault.

"I don't see much of a downside to Kimi to be honest," he said. "He came back to his speed level very quickly and I would not be surprised if he wins very soon."

Boullier said the next step is to improve the car's qualifying performance after Raikkonen had to come back from 10th on the grid to score his podium in Germany.

"We saw a great recovery from Kimi after a difficult qualifying session," Boullier added. "He put in a very strong and experienced drive coupled with a good strategy from the team. Starting in tenth and nineteenth positions we were always going to have our work cut out, so it was good to see Kimi score big points again and display strong race pace.

"Going forwards, it's clear what we need to do for better results. Anyone who watches Formula One can tell us this. We need to do better in qualifying. It's clear that if we want to win the races we have to be top four or five on the grid."

Talking about Romain Grosjean, who is currently eighth in the drivers' standings, Boullier said he still has progress to make.

"Romain is still building himself up. Even if he did seven races two years ago, he never had a real chance to blossom, so for me he is still very much in his first year. He is making mistakes - of course - because he is a youngster. But the good news is that he never repeats a mistake! He is learning, listening and getting stronger with every race.

"We have all seen him have very good weekends, but we have also seen weekends where the results have not been as Romain or anyone in the team would have wanted. This means we need to ensure that he has solid weekends even when circumstances are against him, such as starting from the back of the grid. He's still learning. It's only his first full year. But as we all know he can do very well and we are working with him to ensure that he always puts in a solid drive. This includes making it through the first lap which is obviously very important."

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