Boullier: Raikkonen doing less of what he hates

2013 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Melbourne, 2013Eric Boullier says Lotus are getting the best out of Kimi Raikkonen by “limiting what he hates”.

“I don?t think there is anyone on earth who can tell Kimi what to do, so I?m not going to start,” said Boullier following Raikkonen’s victory in the opening race of the season.

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

Boullier believes Raikkonen has started the new year in better shape than he was in when he made his comeback 12 months ago: “Well he?s smiling more!”

“Kimi is Kimi, he builds himself up ?ǣ he had a strong season last year, and he ended it even more strongly than he started. He?s starting this season as he finished last year, so he will keep building.”

He believes their Melbourne victory, which is Lotus’s second win in four races, confirms their status as a top team:

“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.

“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.”

2013 Australian Grand Prix

Browse all 2013 Australian Grand Prix articles

2013 F1 season

Browse all 2013 F1 season articles

Image ?? Lotus/LAT

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

55 comments on “Boullier: Raikkonen doing less of what he hates”

  1. Its very easy to manage kimi.

    “Just leave him alone” !!!!!!!!!

    1. Just tell Kimi that he does not have to speak ever again, and then he’ll be happy.

  2. Respect for Lotus being true racing team and for being among top teams with smaller budget. I think Chapman would be proud of this team. I hope Kimi will mount serious title challenge this year. If he keeps his consistency from last year and keeps upping his speed, while Lotus keeps up with other teams developing E21, everything is possible.

    1. Agreed. Their attitude is making them one of my favourite teams right now (tedious Twitter hashtags aside). A true racing team, away from the politicking of the padock, is who we all want to support.

  3. These comments seems to sound more like “see , we are top team and the fact you didn’t sign with us now proofs you were wrong – ha ha ha, but we could manage something now?” and not about Kimi or the great start of season.

    1. Who didn’t sign with them? What are you trying to say? If anything he says he’s happy to have Raikkonen onboard…

      1. Sorry, my initial comemnt was meant as a sign to sponsor

        Honeywell deal didn’t came through (they even added red to cars, and there was rumors that Honeywell name was meant to be in the place were now KIMI and ROMAIN is)

        1. It’s a good thing that stupid company didn’t sign up with Lotus. It’s a very bad company trust me. Very unreliable and bad for everybody. Better sponsors will come I’m sure, hopefully an airline co.

          1. Do you mean Fly Emirates perhaps?

          2. @jc-f1: Not naming anything but hopefully some of them.

  4. More vodka, more ice-cream.

    1. Yes, please!

  5. I think for next year they should just rename themselves “Enstone-Lotus”

    1. Are you sure you don’t mean “Enstone-Renault”? Because I doubt Renault would approve of the team rebranding their engines to reflect the name of another car company.

      Because the team has a deal to use the Lotus name until 2017. So long as they get some benefit out of using it, why would they change it?

      1. Although I see your point, I struggle to see what possible benefit they will get from it. It’s a real struggle to like the team whilst they have the lotus name, and not either the history or the sponsorship money to go with it.

      2. @prisoner-monkeys I don’t see the problem with Enstone-Lotus, as of now the team is called “Lotus F1 Team”.

      3. I guess they would say why not run the most prestigious name in the sport, that was currently missing, than some random one on the location of where they are based? And they still have a small amount of sponsorship to show for it, to go with the huge kerfuffle they went through to get it. I agree they were late to the party after Renault ditched their own name, but if the Malaysians didn’t want to side with their own start up in Fernandes, and paid the price for that, then so be it. Group Lotus were in a bad situation pre-Bahar and are now in a worse one post-Bahar. Which is a real shame for the jobs we have here in the UK still part of the group. There’s been good exposure with all this sponsorship over racing (excluding the Indy debacle), so if they could get some cars going well it could theoretically start the ball rolling again. But I doubt that will happen with the company in such a mess. I think Caterham will probably get their ball rolling first, ironically with Renault on those Alpines. The only thing I could see working would be for Lotus F1 to pick up the Group without the debt (keeping the UK jobs base) and get it working again but I don’t hold much hope of that happening, despite rumours that Gerard Lopez has an interest.

    2. Enstone-Renualt

      1. Oops, sorry @Prisoner Monkeys, internet lag on my side.

  6. I’m assuming that Boullier is talking about Raikkonen’s well-known dislike of PR work for sponsors. Which I find odd, because I opened The Daily Telegraph today, and there were not one, but two separate full-page colour advertisements in the first five or six pages for products that sponsor Lotus – namely Rexona and Clear – that each featured Raikkonen’s likeness quite prominently. And they were for “limited edition” (read: the colours were changed to black, gold and red) products celebrating Raikkonen’s win. There was a lot of PR work that went into those adverts …

    1. @prisoner-monkeys Well Boullier doesn’t specify what exactly he’s talking about. It could be meetings, maybe number of hours in the simulator, just general schedules, etc.

    2. I think Räikkönen has always been pretty open to advertisements, it’s the PR events that he dislikes strongly.

      1. I would be massively unhappy if I had a mob following me around wherever I go, besides there are a lot of Kimi Raikkonen misconceptions and they are based by the fact that he doesn’t like to share constant details about his personal life and character as some of the other drivers.

    3. Here’s a solution to your dislike of his attitude – everytime he acts like a ****, he has to do another piece of PR work!

    4. Advertising is not PR.

      There’s also a massive difference between a sit down interview with a journalist asking prodding questions, and a photo shoot.
      They would’ve taken hundreds of frames in one shoot, which would give them plenty of material to use throughout the year. They didn’t pull him off the podium into a photo shoot specifically for those ads, so there was no extra work on his part.

      Photo shoots are also a controlled environment where he wouldn’t be required to speak, or pretend to be friendly in front of fans, sponsors and the media. They would’ve handled Kimi by telling him that this shoot will supply images for the whole year, and if it goes well, he won’t have to do another one. As well as giving a rigid time limit which they would’ve stuck to.

    5. @prisonermonkeys There is another part to this Boullier quote, which hasn’t been put in the article: (From

      EB: “It is true that the environment we have at Enstone is that we want the people to be creative and be themselves. It is much better for them, and we are doing this by limiting the politics and in Kimi by limiting what he hates.”

      So yeah Raikkonen’s PR is down compared to what he did at Mclaren and Ferrari, but I think he also means there is no politics in the team. That is certainly one of the reasons Raikkonen got fed up with Ferrari and Formula One in the first place.

      1. Sorry the hyphen always catches me out @prisoner-monkeys

    6. Kimi has been doing a lot of PR of late. He has been doing a lot of work for Renault and he regularly does videos for Lotus. He did the ice race in Moscow and he does Clear events. Kimi doesn’t like PR and he doesn’t hide it. But he knows it would help Lotus and himself to get more sponsors.

      1. Exactly.

        I think of this like it was for Jacques Villeneuve. He was also known to not like the PR stuff, but what I read at the time was that JV gave 100% to the contracted, negotiated PR days, and it wasn’t really a matter of not liking them being a factor. He agreed to do those as it comes with the territory, and he did them with professionalism, but when it came to them asking him to do extra stuff, $100,000 per day was not enough to lure JV into more.

        Interestingly JV also opined at the time that the reason Mika Hakkinen didn’t win a third WDC in a row was due to the huge global time/travel demands as a 2 time consecutive WDC, distracting him from the task at hand. I know it was the same for JV. He just saw it as counter-productive and probably ironic to get distracted by PR work from doing the very job they were paying him to do on the track. The agreed upon amount, yes. Extra, and no sorry but I need to concentrate on progressing the car and be 100% ‘there’ on Sunday.

        I’m sure most drivers would prefer not to have to do the amount they do, and most don’t exactly love it, but I’m also sure they have all known for a long time, well before they got into F1, that it is part of the deal. They sign for a negotiated amount of work, and I would like to think that KR et al are cooperative and not difficult on those days, as that would only make everyone’s life difficult, and their own uncomfortable days way longer, and then there’s the fact that they agreed at a negotiating table to said days of PR, all the while knowing sponsor dollars are what allow them to do what they love.

  7. Raikkonen doing less of what he hates

    And he earns less than what he wants

    1. Not the case, he actually earns as good as anybody else who are at the top. Much better than Alonso and second fiddle Massa anyway.

      1. Much better than Alonso

        I don’t know from where do you get your information, according to you Kimi is highest paid driver on the grid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      2. Only because there is a large performance component in his pay. It pays to do well when your team expects you to suck, i guess.

    2. He was on a pretty low basic wage contract last year (well compared to what he was earning at Mclaren and Ferrari anyway), but with big bonuses depending on how well he did and how many points he scored. So given he got over 200 points last season I imagine he’s not doing badly financially! And then there’s the 20 million or whatever Ferrari paid him off with.

    3. @tifoso1989 I don’t think money is his top concern, after all Ferrari paid him tens of millions to NOT race for them in 2010… He’s loaded.

    4. Thanks to Ferrari retirement package I dont think he cares much about money, well deserved too.

      1. @aish

        Much better than Alonso and second fiddle Massa anyway.

        Funny given that Raikkonen was actually beaten by Massa when they were teammates; who’s currently being decimated by Alonso.

        1. yea, just like how trulli demolish alonso, which in turn beaten by Heikki.

          massa was screwed after germany 2010. With kimi as teammate, he could dominate the development path as his teammate wouldn’t bother at all.

          Glad he found a team that appreciate his input despite knowing kimi is passive and need a little push from behind.

        2. I think Ferrari would be up at least two WCC titles by now if they stuck with Raikkonen/Massa, but instead choose to play along with Spanish Fantasy Football.

          1. As a Ferrari fan for more then 16 years…if Ferrari were in the same driver configuration as 2007-2009 now…it could have been a disaster…Massa was the most performant in that period…Alonso now has the double of points that Massa have
            Thanks to God we have Alonso, without him probably i would have stop following Ferrari because four 2009 in a row it would have been impossible to follow for me. And without him in Ferrari the last 3 years would have been pretty boring…he was the only one to give some pepper to Red Bull domination

  8. I am glad to see both Kimi and Lotus having the level of success they have enjoyed in recent months. I was thrilled to see Kimi come back and that he has found an environment that supports his happiness and flow means that we will likely be able to enjoy his race-craft for several seasons!

  9. Steady on Renault (Lotus, pah!), you’re only one race in. Having said that, wouldn’t it be great for Kimi to win the championship. It’s ironic isn’t it, you have Kimi who is moody, sulky and doesn’t like the media, versus Vettel who appears to be a genuinely nice guy with a good sense of humor (and he’s German!), yet most see Kimi as the hero and Vettel as the villain.

    1. MB (@muralibhats)
      20th March 2013, 1:28

      You are taking things too far! No one makes anyone villain or hero based on nationality imo. Its the character of the person which makes people love or hate him. Agreed Kimi is not 100% good, but in fact it helps to be not 100% good :) No Politics. Pure Racing.

    2. I think certain Ferrari personal will require couple peace makers or heart transplants if Raikkonen end up winning this year :)

  10. On to the most important point: what is that thing on Kimi’s face? It sure looks a lot like a smile, but as no one has ever seen he smile, we can’t say for sure…

  11. There’s still a long way to go, relax guys, don’t overdo the Lotus victory. It’s really a matter of time before Ferraris and RBRs surpass them in points.

    1. Ferrari, as a constructor, already have more points than Lotus, due to Massa’s fourth compared to Grosjean’s 10th.
      Like last year, though, I think Raikkonen has the skill (and the car) to keep up with Alonso and Vettel, even if he slides behind them at points during the year.

      1. @cg22me

        I think Raikkonen has the skill (and the car) to keep up with Alonso and Vettel

        If the car does indeed remain with them. I imagine Lotus will be their traditional selves and lose out slightly in the development race, and since Alonso and Vettel are likely better drivers I think Kimi will have to settle for “close but not quite close enough” – only if the car falls behind.

        1. @vettel1
          Enstone are good at making the most out of a car advantage early on in the season. If Lotus now understand the Pirelli tyres better than anyone else, they’ll do everything possible to gain this to their advantage. Alonso took a huge lead in the 2005 championship because of it, and Kimi was never quite able to catch up again.

  12. I think I have a man-crush on Kimi…

    1. Will I guess that makes two of us…

  13. Cant log in for whatever reason.

    The Clear ad with Kimi stroking his hair was hillarious!…I cant believe he actually went for that..haha

    I hope Lotus can remain strong and mount a title challenge. They have won multiple championships in the past and definitely have the experience.

    On the sponsor front,…I thought that Lotus was pulling their money for this year…why do they still have the Lotus badge on the cars? If they want more sponsors..they should apporach a Vodka company…Im sure Kimi wont mind posing for that!!

    1. Haha, he probably more than happy to do some PRs for a vodka company.

  14. I’ve always been a Kimi fan but was disappointed that he seemed to totally lose interest after taking the 2007 title(just). I got the impression that he’d achieved his aim and was just racing for the money. Since his comeback he seems to be totally committed and his consistency last season was remarkable in a 2nd tier car and he has started this season where he left off and if he continues to rack up the points with regular podiums and a few wins he may well take the title – now that would be great.Renault/Lotus need Kimi to be successful if they are to get the backing they need to be a top team – I mean anyone considering sponsoring a team must be impressed with what has been achieved by Lotus on a relatively small budget – hope they do and retain Kimi.

Comments are closed.