Lotus: We can challenge everywhere
Eric Boullier thinks Hungary shows team ready to win anywhere
Last Updated: 29/07/12 6:45pm
Lotus Team Principal Eric Boullier believes his team will be able to fight for victory at every race when the season resumes after the summer break in wake of their strong front-running performance at the Hungaroring.
The Enstone-based team claimed their second two-car podium finish of the season in Sunday's race as first Romain Grosjean and then Kimi Raikkonen took the fight to Lewis Hamilton, with arguably only the circuit's lack of overtaking opportunities stopping either driver from beating the McLaren to victory.
Speaking to Sky Sports F1 after the result moved the team ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship, Boullier said that given he hadn't expected the twisty Hungaroring layout to suit the E20 as much as it did he was confident the team are right in the mix to win races.
"At the end I'm very happy for the team because it's not a track that was suiting us on paper and it's a great result," he said.
"It proves as well that when we focus a little bit more on qualifying and we qualify better we can chase this win. So being in a position to chase the win in Hungary is very promising for the rest of the season."
Lotus have spent the last two Friday practice sessions evaluating a new air-challenging system on their E20 and Boullier says the team are hoping to deride performance improvements from that device, and additional upgrades, when they are eventually raced.
With that expectation of further steps forward at Spa, Monza and Singapore, Boullier is confident the team can end the season challenging for wins on a consistent basis.
"We are working on this device to get some [lap time] gain," he said. "We are still evaluating back at the factory. Definitely if we bring it on the car [to race] that should help us in qualifying and we also have quite a few bits to bring over the next three races.
"So I believe in our team and I believe this will be enough to put us to challenge for a win in every race."
He added: "Just based on this weekend, if we can have the same kind of pace compared to the other cars in every track and the same qualifying positions we will be able to fight for wins and definitely podiums every race."
Lotus's double podium on Sunday had appeared briefly in jeopardy when Raikkonen and Grosjean went wheel-to-wheel into the first corner following the former's second pit stop, with the latter forced into the run-off area.
Boullier, however, insisted there were "no hard feelings" from Grosjean towards his older team-mate and added that it was inevitable that the pair will find each other on the circuit every now and then given their respective capabilities.
"For sure the outcome if they would have crashed together would have been different," the Frenchman added. "This is a risk when you have two number one drivers, or two equivalent drivers, and in some way it will happen again trying the season."