Team principal Eric Boullier discusses Lotus' ownership, the chase in the Championship and more.
Q: What can you tell us about the ownership of the team?
EB: "This week we have some very good news which is another step in the development of the team by Genii Capital. A 35% stake has been sold to Infinity Racing Partners, an organization committed to furthering the team's goals and supporting Genii Capital's vision for the team's future. The day to day running of the team here at Enstone remains unchanged but for the future, access to the global network of Infinity Racing's principal partners means there are major opportunities to secure high level sponsorships. Investors taking a stake in a team is common practice in Formula 1 and other sports, and Genii have been talking to potential partners for some time as they wanted to make sure that they would select the right one. We're happy that a strong investor has been found to help bolster the team's position and allow us to push for the future."
Q: Montréal was the second consecutive event where results fell short of expectations; are the team falling away from the front of the field?
EB: "Certainly not. In Monaco it was clear we had the pace and potential to achieve good results. Montréal was a different story, a difficult weekend for us, and we'll take that on the chin. We struggled a little bit in Canada, but we have been able to identify clear reasons why this occurred. We've learnt some valuable lessons and drawn the line under the Canadian Grand Prix. We head to Silverstone with a determined strategy to be back fighting for podiums."
Q: Can the team maintain a championship push?
EB: "Yes, and we're certainly not going to let two weekends of poor results stop us in our efforts. We have a very reasonable package to fit to the E21 for Silverstone -with a number of elements which should help with our performance -and we have plenty of other upgrades to come later in the season too."
Q: What are your thoughts on the latest tire allocations?
EB: "We trust Pirelli's judgment in these matters as they have all the data to analyze and listen to the concerns of all the teams; some of whom are very keen to see the tires changed, some of whom are very keen to have the tires left as they are. Let's see what happens in the next three races for which the allocations have been made and see how that impacts on future allocations."
Q: How do you rate the performance of both drivers in Canada?
EB: "Kimi did a great job when you consider that he was suffering from a brake issue, and he continued his run of points finishes. It's frustrating for him and it's frustrating for us that he's finished without a strong points haul in a second consecutive race, but we have everything in place for Silverstone to reverse that trend. For two of the last three races, Romain's performance has been masked. In Spain our calculations showed a podium was possible were it not for the component failure which led to him retiring, and in Montréal his performance of driving through the field was masked by us having to change our tire strategy. Had we continued on a one-stop Romain would have finished strongly in the points."
Q: What do you make of Kimi's unbroken run of finishes and points scoring?
EB: "Kimi's a points scoring machine and it will be nice if he sets a new record, even if he says he's not bothered by that sort of thing. Since his comeback with us he has been the most reliable driver on the grid for scoring points, and it's interesting to reflect back to the doubt some people had about his return to Formula 1. He's had some bad luck in the last two races, but I'm sure the drivers he's competing with will also have some bad luck too."