• Lotus news

'We've seen a clear step forward' - Boullier

ESPN Staff
October 20, 2012 « Schumacher bigs up Buddh | Tabloid scandal scuppered Mosley's cost cutting plan »
Eric Boullier is in good spirits approaching the final four races © Sutton Images

Lotus team boss Eric Boullier is confident that his team has made a clear step forward in competitiveness thanks to a new exhaust system implemented in Korea.

Kimi Raikkonen used the new upgrade to good effect in Korea and kept his slim title chances alive with a fifth place finish. Boullier is hoping for more of the same in India.

"I think if we look at the last two or three races objectively then we've had our difficulties, but we've also seen a clear step forward in terms of performance with the new exhaust system in Korea," said Boullier. "The team did a brilliant job to bring such a significant upgrade to the race and make it work first time and there is still a lot more to come from this concept once we have had some more time to work with it."

Although Raikkonen still harbours dreams of a second world title, he lies a massive 58 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel and Boullier is rather focused on a more achievable goal of overhauling McLaren and clinching third in the constructors' standings.

"I think we should now be looking to push both cars into the top five during qualifying which will give us a much better chance of bringing home some good points in the fight for third place in the Constructors' Championship.There's no denying it will be difficult. Having said that there are still four races left and four good opportunities to score points. The key will be to make sure we have good reliability from the E20 and our drivers, with both cars finishing solidly in the points every weekend."

One of the major talking points in the season has been the erratic form of Romain Grosjean. Undoubtedly fast and talented, Grosjean has also been the cause of a number of opening lap crashes this season and has come under heavy criticism as a result.

"It's definitely time for us to draw the line and move on, but more importantly it's also time for Romain to put it in the past for himself. Despite a lot of pressure, he drove a good clean race in Korea and I fully believe he now understands what he needs to do to avoid these things in the future. Romain's target for the rest of the season is clear; to build on the platform he created in the last race and help the team push for maximum points in the last four races.

"India is a huge country with an economy which is going from strength to strength, so it's an important and exciting new market for the sport. It's also a welcome opportunity to learn more about the culture and tradition of a nation which is quite different to most places we visit in the season."