Exclusive: Eric Boullier Q&A: Finances and relations with Raikkonen up for discussion
Martin Brundle catches up with the Lotus Team Principal
By William Esler. Last Updated: 04/11/13 8:22am
Lotus have been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons recently and Martin Brundle caught up with Team Principal Eric Boullier to discuss finances, team radio and their relationship with Kimi Raikkonen.
Martin Brundle: Now the financial problems in the team are well known and documented. How are you keeping it all together and still taking the fight to Red Bull?
Eric Boullier: "I think I have the chance to manage some incredible people at Enstone and they are devoted to the company and are doing their job very well. You can see the latest upgrade of the car is working and delivering and this is where I am lucky enough to manage these people."
MB: What is the relationship like with Kimi this weekend? Is it a little by icy with the Iceman?
EB: "Icy is the word maybe. But it is not within the team or with the team and he is still getting on with the team well and they are still pushing for him and he is pushing hard for us. So I think it is just a bit of stress at another level of the company."
MB: He has delivered over two seasons now for you with great speed and consistency. Why won't your shareholders pay him? He says he hasn't received a single Euro this year, but you are getting prize money eventually.
EB: "It is not a question I am able to answer. It is a question for the shareholders."
MB: It puts you in virtually an impossible position.
EB: "I know, but my job is to fight and make sure the team is the first priority. It is true that this is not a normal situation, but I am relying on the money coming from my shareholders today. My job is to make sure my people are protected."
MB: And the rather tetchy radio call from India, did everyone sit down? Is it put to bed?
EB: "It is not too bad. We sat down and everything is clear now. It was just obviously a lot of stress on the pitwall side throughout the race. We were running third and fourth which was good if you remember our starting positions, but then the tyres dropped off on Kimi's car and we knew it would be difficult to finish higher than seventh. Then we had an engine problem on Romain's car so the last thing we expected to see was our two cars hitting each other."