Boullier: Lotus moulded to match Raikkonen’s style

F1 Fanatic round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

In the round-up: Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says Lotus has had to change to get the best out of Kimi Raikkonen.

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Jerez, 2013Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Interview with Lotus’s Eric Boullier (F1)

“Little by little over the course of the year he adjusted all the parameters to make himself fast, strong and in a position to deliver – the Kimi we like! He might have his moments sometimes, but it is up to us to adjust what we want to achieve to his style rather than the reverse. I probably prefer to switch the team to the style of Kimi.”

Ecclestone to meet F1 teams today (Autosport)

“It is understood that among the items being discussed are the situation regarding the Concorde Agreement, future engine regulations, the non-payment by some teams of entry fees, and customer cars.”

Maldonado puts honeymoon on hold (Reuters)

“I made some mistakes last year but at the same time I was being killed by the stewards. It was a combination, 50-50, not all down to me and everybody knows that.”

Local talent to ignite F1 success in Korea (The Korea Times)

Tony Fernandes: “It?s a shame that [the Korean Grand Prix is] far away from big cities. If this event was in Seoul or near Seoul, I think the financial (situation) would be different. I think it is harder to make money because of where it is.”

F1???s January jolt (MotorSport)

“Why not spread the races out from January to (if you must) December and dab the season with official tests at strategically propitious points? Teams, particularly those with a smaller workforce, would thus be provided extended opportunities to review and hopefully amend their performance shortcomings during the year, and the races, as long as 20 remained a maximum, would feel even more special because they wouldn?t have to be churned out once a fortnight.”


Comment of the day

Max Jacobson (@Vettel1) on potential alternative testing venues to Jerez:

I thought possibly Aragon (although that is relatively far north) or the Algarve circuit: both of which meet the FIA standards and both of which I?m sure have a better track surface as they are newer. They also aren?t ridiculous distances away from the team?s hubs so it would make sense to test there.
Max Jacobson (@Vettel1)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Straightline and Sandlefish!

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On this day in F1

Cliff Allison was born on this day in 1932. Allison was one of Lotus’s two drivers for their first F1 start at Monaco in 1958.

He drove for Ferrari the following year. He started 1960 with a strong second place in Argentina but was badly injured in Monaco in a crash which left him unconscious for two weeks.

He made a partial return in 1961 with BRP, but after another serious crash he called time on his racing career. Allison died in 2005.

59 comments on “Boullier: Lotus moulded to match Raikkonen’s style”

  1. “It was a combination, 50-50, not all down to me and everybody knows that.”

    Umm, am I the only one who does not consider themselves “everybody” in that statement?

    1. @suave I’m sure when he says “everybody” he means “everybody… In my family…”

    2. Nope. I can’t think of a collision involving pastor last year that wasn’t 100% his fault, although TBH the only collisions I can recall are 2 with Perez and 1 with Ham

      1. Oh and the completely comical crash into the kerb at a demo event in Venezuala! Maybe that one’s 50/50 the kerb just didn’t leave room!

      2. And one on the first lap of the season with grojean

    3. Yep Pastor’s right, it was a combination. 50% him doing reckless, dangerous moves and 50% the Stewards doing their job.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        8th February 2013, 3:22

        ha-ha, how true!

    4. I’m a part of “everybody” as well.

    5. The worst thing is that he probably still thinks that he was not to blame for cut-and-dry incidents like with Hamilton in Valencia. I find that worrying.

    6. The part that raised my eyebrows the most was:

      “…but at the same time I was being killed by the stewards.”

      He got away with murder a couple times, if you ask me.

      1. Maldonado definitely should have been banned before/when Grosjean was. Just for an accumulation of stupid, reckless incidents. If you can’t even go through a demonstration event without crashing, you have issues that need to be addressed.

        1. When you generalise like that, yes, Maldonado probably should have been banned sooner. But I think that there is a distinct difference between him and Grosjean that meant Grosjean was the more dangerous of the two: Grosjean’s accidents took place at the start of the race. For all the trouble he caused, Maldonado was actually pretty good at keeping his nose clean for the first lap of the race; the only time he ran into trouble was when he started from the back of the grid in Monaco, and that was hardly his fault.

          No, the collisions with Perez in Monaco and at Silverstone, with Hamilton in Valencia and with Glock at Spa all happened when there were only two cars involved. And while some, like the altercation with Perez in Monaco and Hamilton in Valencia were contentious, the others – the collision with Perez at Silverstone and Maldonado tripping over Glock at Spa – were not, and probably would not have been mentioned were in not for his other indiscretions.

          1. It was the seeming deliberateness of the Perez crash that should have got him a ban.

          2. There is no evidence that that crash was deliberate.

          3. @prisoner-monkeys He did turn into Portier incredibly early. That was far, far earlier than an ideal line.

          4. @enigma – That he did. But it’s still not proof of wrongdoing.

            Consider this: my theory is that when Maldonado sideswiped Hamilton, he did it because he felt Hamilton did wrong by him, forcing him out onto the wet circuit and compromising his qualifying lap.

            Now, assuming for the moment that my theory on what happened at Spa is correct – and I think this is the only reasonably explanation for why Hamilton got a reprimand for it; the stewards felt that he provoked Maldonado, however inadvertent that provocation might be – then we can reasonably assume that Maldonado sideswiped Hamilton because of a perceived wrong, and that therefore, Maldonado will only deliberately drive into another car when he believes that the driver of that car does wrong by him. We will call that “motive”.

            Now, still assuming that the above is true, let me ask you this: why did Maldonado deliberately drive into Perez when he had no motive to do so?

          5. @prisoner-monkeys

            Grosjean was the more dangerous of the two: Grosjean’s accidents took place at the start of the race

            We’re talking about the ban here. Grosjean was banned for Spa alone, not his earlier collisions, because those weren’t his fault.

            And when it comes to differences between Romain and Pastor, then the most important thing is that Grosjean can admit to being wrong and show some humility. Maldonado to this day thinks that his incidents were only 50% his fault and that the stewards held some kind of grudge against him.

          6. I must say @prisoner-monkeys there is a stout flaw in your argument concerning the deliberatness of the Mal/Per Monaco crach. You put it to proof that it was deliberate, citing he had “motive” in Spa, but not in Monaco and thus there was no reason for it to be deliberate. You haven’t shown proof of your argument, your just implying other peoples are wrong as they have no proof, yet you don’t give any yourself.

            The ‘motive’ you say doesn’t exist in Monaco is pretty clear to me. Maldonado wanted a clear track, Perez was in the way, Maldonado felt he was getting held up, simple.

            At the end of the day, the CRASH itself was not deliberate, the action of turning in early to intimidate or cut up another car was deliberate. Maldonado simply failed to do that, and caused a collision.

          7. @nick-uk

            While we’re on the subject of flaws in arguments …

            The ‘motive’ you say doesn’t exist in Monaco is pretty clear to me. Maldonado wanted a clear track, Perez was in the way, Maldonado felt he was getting held up, simple.

            In the middle of free practice, when Maldonado had not actually been held up by Perez until he saw Perez at Portier?

          8. @prisoner-monkeys Drivers will think they are getting help up whether its free practice or otherwise, hence the Algushuari/Vettel thing in Korea. The fact it was practice was irrelevant. And as to Maldonado not being held up until that corner, well, maybe he chose at that corner to cut up Perez. If it takes him more than a whole corner to make a driving decision then he has no business driving an F1 car, so you can’t say he wouldn’t have been able to ‘think’ (or not, as the case may be) to take the action he chose.

          9. @prisoner-monkeys I will not go into a discussion of the logic in comparing Monaco Maldonado on Perez with Spa Maldonado on Hamilton.

            But when you write

            Consider this: my theory is that when Maldonado sideswiped Hamilton, he did it because he felt Hamilton did wrong by him, forcing him out onto the wet circuit and compromising his qualifying lap.

            while I agree that its likely that this was Maldonado’s motivation, I hope we also agree that having a motivation like this should mean more leniency from the Stewards, as it shows that move would have been deliberate.
            Personally I fully agree with you that that is most likely what happened, and its also why in my opinion the stewards were wrong there (they should have given Maldonado a ban for a deliberately dangerous move).

          10. make that , I hope we also agree that having a motivation like this should not mean more leniency from the Stewards

          11. @prisoner-monkeys Well I don’t see any reason why he would turn in so early, other than to collide with Perez. He’s too handy around Monaco to just misjudge it, right?

            Though perhaps there was something Sergio did we didn’t see…but I’m fairly sure it was deliberate, justifiable or not.

    7. The Sun just found out that the captain of the Titanic, Edward Smith Maldonado, was a relative of Crashtor. He also mentioned: “ok, it was not my complete fault, the iceberg kept pushing me into the tiny ocean space I had left. What could I do? It was just defensive driving. Just a scratch” Damned stewards…

      1. @f1karting

        LOL that was funny. Thanks for the laugh.

    8. Gagnon (@johnniewalker)
      8th February 2013, 2:59

      @suave He probably still think Brasil is not his fault, its the car that slided, not him.

    9. He’s behaving like a drug addict. Denial is not gonna solve any problems

    10. I think that rather the majority of F1 watchers think differently on that subject

  2. Boulier said on the interview:

    But I have a clear idea on that: if someone thinks that he needs to earn more money, then he might leave – I will not chase him.

    It sounds as if this was said by Martin Witsmarth to some employee who left

    1. I’d say that’s the definition of preferential treatment, i.e., #1 DRIVER. That’s something folks at Woking don’t like.

      1. Oh wait. It’s not a reply to @omarr-pepper :)

        On Lewis, he’s made his choice. Wish him the best.

  3. Love him or hate him, you’ve got to admire Kimi’s skills behind the wheel, and I’d bet that there are a few highly placed drivers that are a bit envious of the (apparently) low PR demands required of him by Lotus. He seems to have found his niche, and even though I’ve never been a huge fan, I find myself pulling for him this year.

  4. Lol, it was just a matter of time until the Pasta-hate crew came along. I bet if he won a WDC, you’d still have some of these people criticizing him for petty stuff.

    “He doesn’t smile enough. The stewards should ban him!”.
    “He has the stare of serial killer, the stewards should ban him!”.

    1. Well, it’s what happens out on track that really matters at the end of the day, but presumably a negative image doesn’t do a driver any good in terms of fan base, sponsorship (not that he has to worry too much there), PR etc. I’m not afraid to admit that he’s far and away my least favourite out of the current drivers (dating from the 2011 qualifying incident with Hamilton) , and I haven’t come across too many people who like the guy. A start might be accepting the stewards’ decisions and responsibility for his own actions and moving on from there.

      1. Abdurahman (@)
        8th February 2013, 3:32

        Here here. I totally agree. I was quite surprised how easily he seemingly got away with that incident in Spa with Hamilton. I found it absolutely atrocious and couldn’t believe not more was made of it.

        1. @abdurahman – I’d say that was because the stewards felt the incident was not premeditated. Rather than plan to crash into Hamilton, they believed Maldonado reacted in anger for a perceived slight. They also reprimanded Hamilton for his role in the incident.

          My theory is that when Maldonado ran wide at the Bus Stop, Hamilton saw the opportunity and took it. But in doing so, he forced Maldonado wide as they came out of the second corner. This allowed Hamilton to set a lap time good enough for Q3, but it also pushed Maldonado off the dry line, robbing him of the opportunity to set a better lap time; with the track drying out so quickly at the time, Maldonado’s sector times suggested that he would have picked up an extra position or two if he had stayed on the dry line. Two hundred metres later, Maldonado sideswiped Hamilton.

          The stewards evidently believed that Hamilton – however inadvertently – had provoked Maldonado by forcing him wide, and that Maldonado hit back in anger. It doesn’t justify what Maldonado did, but it does explain the severity of his punishment. And when you look at Hamilton’s 2011 season, he was in the middle of a phase where he was apparently frustrated with his inability to challenge Red Bull, and he simply wasn’t respecting anyone else on the race track (except possibly Button, his team-mate). The move at the Bus Stop was pretty aggressive, and it gave Maldonado no choice but to either compormise his own lap by running wide, or crash into Hamilton. Backing off and letting Maldonado have the racing line would have prevented the collision. It also would have robbed Hamilton of a spot in Q3, but that’s his problem – nothing gives him the right to compromise another driver’s lap like that.

          Now, I know this debate comes up every few months, and this is an argument I’ve wheeled out time and time again. But there is one question that nobody has ever been anle to answer satisfactorily: if Maldonado deliberately crashed into Hamilton, why did Hamilton get a reprimand for his role it?

          1. I’ve tried to explain the same situation in the same light many times since, but I couldn’t find the words @prisoner-monkeys has so eloquently come up with. Agree 100% with your explanation of that incident.

          2. “nothing gives him the right to compromise another driver’s lap like that.”

            Yes, the rules does give him that right

          3. @prisoner-monkeys Hamilton was entirely within his rights to overtake Maldonado. He did nothing wrong, and I don’t recall the stewards saying otherwise.

          4. @tvm

            Yes, the rules does give him that right

            What rules? Where in the rulebook does it say “Lewis Hamilton is allowed to force any driver off the circuit at any time during qualifying without fear of punishment if it means that he, Hamilton, will qualify in a higher grid position than he would otherwise, regardless of whether or not the driver he forces off is, at the time of being forced off, on a flying lap that would result in his qualifying in a higher grid position if it were not for Hamilton forcing him off”?

            Because I’m pretty sure that’s not in the rules.

          5. PM left a void, that void got occupied by a car as it should be on a race track, this is not Sunday cruise and Hamilton had every right to go for the gap that PM left, as a matter of fact we should expect nothing less.

          6. @tvm – Except that you have no right to “go for a gap” if doing so means you force another driver off the circuit. And while Maldonado never left the circuit in this case, he was forced off the dry line. Given the rate at which lap times were improving, being forced wide on exit robbed him of the chance to set a faster lap time and improve his qualifying position. If Hamilton hadn’t tried to force his way through, Maldonado wouldn’t have been forced wide, would have set a better lap time, and would not have sideswiped the McLaren.

          7. So you have no argument, the rules allows this perhaps PM should just have been a bit faster instead of impeding…

          8. Where does it say that a driver is entitled to compromise another driver’s lap?

        2. @keithcollantine – May I direct your attention to this story from the day of the incident?

          Specifically, the final paragraph:

          Hamilton was given a reprimand but receives no penalty. The stewards said both drivers were guilty of “causing a collision” and were punished under article 16.1 of the regulations.

          What other accident could Hamilton have been involved in? This article is dated August 27, so it can’t be referring to his clash with Kobayashi the next day.

          I’m not denying that Hamilton was within his rights to overtake Maldonado. I never have. I’m just trying to point out that I think the stewards felt that Hamilton was too aggressive with his move, and unintentionally aggravated Maldonado into sideswiping him. Given that Hamilton’s best (and only, if I recall correctly) Q2 time was a 2:02.823, and that the Q3 cut-off time was 2:04.692, Hamilton had nearly two seconds in-hand and so could have backed off, avoided aggravating Maldonado, and still advanced to Q3.

          I can think of no other reasonable explanation for why Hamilton received a reprimand when Maldonado clearly and intentionally side-swiped him. Given their relative speeds upon exiting La Source, with Hamilton coasting and Maldonado accelerating, there was nothing Hamilton could do to avoid the contact at the time of the contact.

          And that’s why I think Maldonado got off with an easier sentence than most people expected (and, in some cases, demanded). The stewards most likely felt that Hamilton was too aggressive in the pass on Maldonado, pushing him wide and onto the wet tarmac. This, in turn, cost Maldonado a chance at bettering his grid position. His final Q2 time was a 2:08.106, so a place in Q3 was probably out of the question, but with the rate at which the track was drying, he stood a reasonable chance at improving his position by two or three places. Feeling that Hamilton had compromised his lap, Maldonado sideswiped him.

          This theory does not absolve Maldonado of any wrong-doing. It was never intended to. But it does explain why Maldonado was given a five-place grid penalty instead of a race ban, and why Hamilton was given a reprimand.

          1. As an addendum, yes I am aware that I said the following above:

            Backing off and letting Maldonado have the racing line would have prevented the collision. It also would have robbed Hamilton of a spot in Q3.

            But that was before I looked at all the qualifying times. Hamilton’s fastest lap in Q2 was a 2:02.823, whilst the Q1 cut-off time was 2:04.692. As Hamilton had nearly two seconds in-hand at the end of the lap, I have since changed my position: he could have backed off ans still made it into Q3.

            However, I still stand by my original, follow-up point: that if, by backing off, Hamilton missed Q3, then that is his problem. There is no excuse for forcing another driver wide or off the circuit for the sake of bettering your own lap time. Especially not when that driver is currently on a lap that could better his own qualifying position.

          2. So the stewards made a mistake giving a reprimand to LH, not the first time they have made a mistake on that particular track, 2008 comes to mind.

            Again PM left a gap, and there is no excuse for LH NOT to go for it, its racing, not driving school.

            Premeditated or not, PM should not have been allowed to race that weekend or the next if at all when he cant control himself, talking about a guy here that has already once seriously injured people on a race track because of lack of self control.

          3. I’m not going to have the same conversation with you in two different places. Please respond to the comments above.

            I mostly set these comments aside because I was curious to see what @keithcollantine has to say about Hamilton getting a reprimand.

          4. So when you get called on your bogus arguments you are suddenly not interested anymore?

            Cool I win then :)

          5. No, I’m saying that this conversation is exactly the same as the conversation we are having six posts above, and I far one am not going to have the same conversation in two places.

    2. I’m pretty sure that a lot of people criticised Senna for the same sort of caper Maldonado gets up to, then he won a lot and now he’s a legend. I think it’s fun to have Pastor around, gives lots of those “noooo, think about who that IS” moments when you see someone taking risks around him.

  5. And again there was that Valencia incident where he t boned Hamilton in the side. But yeah I think he got a penalty but still…. ……I know Hamilton pushed a bit aggressive but you are entitled to do so when you have the position and the inside line. It’s not as if Maldonado had no room at all or as if he was pushed outside like what schumi did …… Maldonado is aggressive a bit too much for comfort. The end .

  6. Algarve for God sake!

  7. Maldonado’s constant deferrals of responsibility would be amusingly childlike if they weren’t in regard to such dangerous, irresponsible, and stupid actions.

    He owes his career to the Monaco stewards leniency (or buying their decisions, if you want to be cynical). Proof that failing to hold bullies, or the senseless, to account only makes their behaviour worse in the long run.

  8. as long as 20 remained a maximum, would feel even more special because they wouldn’t have to be churned out once a fortnight

    Given the number of weeks in a year, races in a Jan-Dec calendar would still be mostly once a fortnight. It’s the back-to-back races that would disappear.

  9. I was being killed by the stewards

    Possibly it’s just an unfortunate English use of some Spanish turn of phrase (on the part of Maldonado). Spanish has expressions that would seem very harsh in literal translation but are actually used quite innocuously in their original.

    Not that I’m condoning his driving style, though.

  10. If it was moulded to fit Grojean’s style, it would have airbags..

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