Eric Boullier firmly believes that in new signing Kimi Raikkonen he has a driver who can lead Lotus back into the Championship fight…
Eric Boullier firmly believes that in new signing Kimi Raikkonen he has a driver who can lead Lotus back into the Championship fight.
Speaking during Lotus’s second launch of their new E20 at Jerez on Monday, the first having taken place on online the previous evening, Boullier hailed the effect he reckons Raikkonen will have on the team.
“Clearly, he brings a commitment to winning and he knows what he wants,” the team boss told Autosport. “He is a proper racer and fits in well with a team that is a bunch of proper racers.
“When he is in the car, he knows exactly what he wants and that makes the team’s life easier.
“It means more ambition and more responsibility (for the team) but it is also a different way of working with a World Champion. He wants to win again and that’s an ambition that we share.”
Asked about motivating Raikkonen, something Ferrari claimed it was difficult to do during his final season with them in 2009, Boullier said: “How difficult will it be to me? For me, very easy.
“It was an easy discussion (to sign him up) and when he did the couple of days running he showed the team how motivated and professional he is.
“It was a huge boost for the team morale and the team motivation.”
As for Raikkonen, the 32-year-old is adamant Lotus have everything they need to return to the front end of the grid. However, he admits the return won’t be easy or quick.
“Nobody knows exactly (how long it will take),” he said.
“The team has a lot of hunger to do well and to get back their winning ways but it’s not easy. If it was, everybody would do it. But definitely there are people who want to get back there and put in the effort for it.
“They have won it before so they have all the tools to do it. It’s just about getting everything right and being up there all the time so hopefully it can happen soon, but everybody seems hungry to do it.”
Gallery: Lotus shake down the E20