Boullier: We've apologised to Kimi

Wednesday 03-July-2013 13:56

Lotus boss Eric Boullier acknowledges they made a mistake in electing not to call Kimi Raikkonen in for fresh tyres when the Safety Car was deployed for a second time during Sunday's British Grand Prix.

While a number of other teams had made the decision to call their drivers in and provide them with fresh tyres, Lotus left Kimi out on the track.

As a result, Raikkonen was powerless to stop his quicker rivals from passing him in the closing laps and he eventually finished down in fifth when a podium place had been on the cards.

Boullier admitted that the team had made the wrong call and that they had apologised to the Finn.

"The outcome of the race wasn't rewarding with the amount of work that has been done by the team recently," he said. "Our strategy was great until the last safety car. We should have called Kimi in to save at least one position and make the podium.

"Unfortunately, we made the wrong call for which we apologised to Kimi and to the team. This sometimes happens and it isn't easy to manage when you have so many safety car periods. In Germany we're confident we will be competitive and aiming to make amends."

Boullier was confident that their Silverstone mishap would not have a bearing on Raikkonen's decision over where to race next year.

The 33-year-old has been linked with a move to Red Bull when Mark Webber vacates his seat at the end of the season.

"We're all grown-ups and we're all pretty frank with each other," Boullier continued. "It was pretty obvious with hindsight that we made the wrong call. No team can say that they make the correct call on every occasion; whether in race strategy, car design philosophy or any other aspect of the sport.

"Kimi was pretty frustrated when he got out of the car which is understandable - we wouldn't want a driver who wasn't frustrated after what happened - but there's no point sitting in the corner sulking; we're focused on getting a good result in Germany.

"Kimi's an intelligent guy and he won't let a single pit stop call define a decision like where to drive for 2014. One of his psychological strengths is that he clearly lets you know when he's upset about something, then he refocuses and gets on with the next challenge very quickly. He seems to like being with Lotus F1 Team and we're doing everything we can to show him this is the place to be for next season and beyond."

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