Lotus aiming for third
Technical Director says team can beat Ferrari
By William Esler. Last Updated: 03/10/12 2:53pm
Lotus are targeting a major scalp in the Constructors' Championship by pipping Ferrari to third place in the final six races, according to Technical Director James Allison.
The Enstone-based team have already established themselves in a comfortable fourth position, 95 points ahead of Mercedes.
But with Ferrari just 14 points in front they are hopeful of overhauling the most successful team in F1 history, and with it claim their best finish since 2007, when running as the works Renault team.
"Fourteen races in and we've had a handful of results that have allowed Ferrari to open up a small gap on us in the championship," Allison said.
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"We fight each weekend with strong and dedicated opposition who will leave us for dead if we take our eye off the ball for one moment, but the great thing about this sport is that the opportunity to do the same is always there for your team as well. Every weekend you have a chance at redemption and we're fortunate to have a number of items that we believe will improve our car over the remaining races.
"The gap to Ferrari is small in terms of the points available, so our goal over the next six races is to overtake them in the championship and to put Kimi back on a path that will allow him to close the gap to the front."
Team Principal Eric Boullier was not as optimistic, however, and was keen to point out fourth would be a good result for the team.
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"As I have often said, it is important not to get carried away in this paddock. With the E20, we can rely on a tidy and reliable racing car and I think we have surprised a few people this year, but we need to progress one step at a time," the Frenchman said.
"We've always said that our target this year was to finish 4th in the championship. I'm not saying that we won't chase Ferrari until the end of the season, or that we don't want to, I'm just putting things back into context. People should remember where we're coming from. Pushing too hard or reviewing our objectives in the middle of the season could only have a negative effect.
"This is not a lack of ambition, it is down to experience: rushing things in F1 will - more often than not - mean collapsing. We'll keep pushing; we're doing our best and the 2012 season has been good for us so far. We'll then see where this takes us."