'Lotus can fine-tune Maldonado'

Saturday 7th December 2013

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'Lotus can fine-tune Maldonado'

'Lotus can fine-tune Maldonado'

Lotus team boss Eric Boullier feels the team can rein in Pastor Maldonado just as they did Romain Grosjean.

Last month Lotus confirmed that Maldonado would race for them in 2014, bringing with him massive sponsorship from Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.

However, the 28-year-old also brings with him a reputation for being erratic and making mistakes.

"I think we just need to make sure he can keep his focus - actually similar issues we had with Romain last year - keep his focus on track..."

Eric Boullier

This, though, is not the first time that Boullier and Lotus have had to deal with a driver like that as the team also has Grosjean on the books.

While the Frenchman was called a "first lap nutcase" last season, this year he was touted as a potential Champion and the most improved driver on the grid.

Speaking about Maldonado, Boullier told Sky Sports F1: "He's a friendly guy, he's a fast guy. He won a race in Formula 1 and it was on merit - it was not gained from some lottery.

"I think we just need to make sure he can keep his focus - actually similar issues we had with Romain last year - keep his focus on track.

"I'm sure that with the proper support and team around him, we can do something nice with Pastor.

"Maybe there is still some fine-tuning to do with him. And I think one the most important parts, having talked to him already, is obviously feeling the support of the team behind him."

As for Maldonado's sponsorship, Boullier says that hasn't put paid to plans for Quantum Motorsports to purchase a 35 per cent stake in the team.

"We are still confident something is going to happen but timing is an issue.

"Obviously there is a financial support with Pastor, which in these days we may need. And unfortunately, as I said before, timing is an issue.

"Even if Genii is deeply involved in funding the team, there are some solutions that need to be done. And it's true that Quantum Motorsports is the best one we can have but timing is everything, especially in Formula 1.

"We have to deliver a car in less than eight weeks now."

The team boss also weighed in on Kimi Raikkonen, who he believes could have remained with Lotus for a third season had there not been financial issues.

"It was coming regularly into the media and actually more tiring to see these stories dragging on for months. It's not the kind of image you want to have or the kind of press you want to have.

"Obviously I knew the situation and I was not surprised that Kimi would be tempted to leave - even if I know it would be against his wish to stay, let's say."

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