Boullier: Kimi is Kimi

Wednesday 20-March-2013 12:16

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has once again hailed the environment at Enstone, saying it is playing a major role in Kimi Raikkonen's performances.

Raikkonen made a successful comeback to F1 last year as he won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and finished third in the Drivers' Championship. He carried that form over to this season as he came from seventh on the grid to win the opening race in Australia.

Boullier believes the laidback Finn is benefitting from the relaxed vibe at the squad.

"Well he's smiling more! Kimi is Kimi, he builds himself up - he had a strong season last year and he ended it even more strongly than he started," he is quoted as saying on the official Formula 1 website.

"He's starting this season as he finished it last year, so he will keep building on that.

"I don't think there is anyone on earth who can tell Kimi what to do, so I'm not going to start!

"It's true that the environment we have in Enstone is different and we encourage everyone to be creative and to be themselves - and that seems much better for everyone. For Kimi we do this as much as possible by limiting what he hates."

Raikkonen's victory at Albert Park came on the back of some excellent work on the pit wall as the team opted for a two-stop strategy with the rest of the front-runners stopping thrice.

Although the team are determined to build on their win, Boullier warns against getting too carried away.

"We're just one race in. We clearly stated that we wanted to be one of the top teams this year, and starting the season like this means that we should be able to fight to reach our target, which is finishing third in the Constructors' Championship," he said.

"I think Lotus F1 Team is truly a top team now. If we can be in the position where we can compete for wins, then that is where we wanted to be. From what we've achieved in the first race we can build on that nice momentum to one day become World Champions again."

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