Boullier says Lotus missed chance to win

2013 German Grand Prix

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Eric Boullier believes Lotus would have won the German Grand Prix had Kimi Raikkonen not been held up earlier in the race.

“We got hold behind the Mercedes after the first pit stop,” said Boullier. “That cost us three or four seconds. This is where we lost the race.”

Raikkonen crossed the finishing line one second behind winner Sebastian Vettel.

Lotus put Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean on different strategies in the closing stages of the race. When Raikkonen, on soft tyres, caught Grosjean, on mediums, Grosjean was ordered to let his team mate past.

“We are very clear,” Boullier exaplined. “They are racing each other to the point where we don’t want anybody to hold the other one. So we knew that Kimi could close to Vettel and not Romain so this is why we had to take the decision to switch.”

“He was faster thanks to the tyre, thanks to different things,” he added. “I mean this is why we had to switch them, to make sure we could catch Sebastian.”

Boullier added they would have acted the same way had Raikkonen been the car that was ahead. He denied there was any bad feeling between their drivers afterwards:

“There is no problem, this is clear. As the competitors they always want to stay where they are so that is normal.”

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    32 comments on “Boullier says Lotus missed chance to win”

    1. I don’t know why they pit kimi so early in the first stint??

      he was lapping faster than those on medium….and the delta time clearly showed that pitting at that moment will only put kimi behind the traffics.

      Its like they have no idea which strategy were the best and roll the dice for both drivers.

      1. Agreed. I remember earlier in the season James Allison saying grosjean was Better on tires than Kimi, but only marginally, not twice as good.

        The big question to me is could Kimi had made it without the last pit stop? But at least lotus pit kimi under the SC this time. Lol

        1. Nope. James Allison said kimi is better on tires than Romain. Romain was struggle initially with the tires and car setup, took him a while to blend in.

          1. According to this interview, he said Grosjean was better on the fronts, while Kimi Raikkonen was better on the rears.

            1. Actually, James Allison is better on the tyres. And Kimi is actually Romain.

              Romain did really well this race. It’s the first time I think he really was Kimi’s equal.

      2. Even I was surprised when Kimi pitted on lap 8. Once Kimi pitted, Romain went on the same sets for another 5 laps without any drop in performance.

    2. Why did Kimi stuck behind the traffic in the first place then Mr. Eric Boullier?

      This team is the funniest team ever. They keep creating condition where Team Order is needed when they could’ve avoid it with better strategy.

      1. Well, if you think about it he is kinda admitting the mistake by saying that is what went wrong.

    3. Who put Kimi in those situation??

      Its the same as last race where the team didn’t react to Alonso’s pit stop instead they pitted romain that was behind. Kimi ended up behind romain after staying out a few more laps and the TO situation occured.

      This time, they covered Lewis for the sake of covering without reading the lap times and gaps after pit stop.

    4. Michael Brown (@)
      7th July 2013, 17:04

      I think they should have tried to give Grosjean the chance to win.

      1. Like letting Romain staying out longer on first stint while jeopardize Kimi by pitting him behind the traffice??

        He was on Seb ‘s tail all the while and couldn’t do anything about it.

        Kimi shouldn’t have pitted. But his radio was broken and couldn’t relay that message to team on last stint.

      2. He had his chance twice, couldn’t capitalise on it.

        1. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
          7th July 2013, 17:17

          it’s Romain who have to sort it out. It’s nearly similar like last year Hungaroring when he chased Hamilton. He handled it better today, but nevertheless he still can’t manage it.

      3. I think he missed that chance by when he wasn’t able to pass Vettel while Kimi hadn’t made his final pitstop yet.

      4. I think they did, Grosjean was pitted earlier than Vettel to jump him in the last pitstop. When it fail, their only choice was to keep Kimi not to pit or pit with softer tire. If it was contractual team order, maybe they should, Lotus cars would swap immediately after safety car.

      5. Probably would have been better to let Roman do the SS at the end, as he was ahead.

    5. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      7th July 2013, 17:15

      The move when Grosjean let kimi pass shoud have been earlier, no matter if it would look “worse”, because team orders are permitted (I don’t like it but the rules are set in that way), so he could have caught up Seb
      Too many “ifs”. I’m happy because it was a one – two of my favorite drivers

      1. Grosjean held Kimi for three laps after Lotus told him not to hold Räikkönen. After the second order he allowed Kimi to overtake. I heard he had problems with radio though, so it probably wasn’t intentional.

        1. Actually, the radio was something like.
          “Romain, Raikkonen is faster than you”
          “Uh… I cant hear you. I might have radio problems.”
          “Raikkonen is FASTER than you”

          Grosjean (rightfully) didnt want to let Raikkonen through, he was right behind Vettel for a whole stint.

      2. @omarr-pepper

        Did you feel the same way about earlier in the race when Romain was clearly faster than Kimi?

        1. how was he clearly faster than kimi?? kimi was stuck behind lewis and still doing 1.37 while romain was on clean air.

          the team screw kimi up by pitting him early behind the traffic while Romain got the better strategy.

    6. They´d have potentially won if they had pitted Kimi 2 laps earlier than they did for this final stop.

      It´s all very well saying that being held up earlier in the race contributed, but they had a final chance to pull it back with better timing, which trumps that as the reason.

    7. the main problem is lotus can not qualify high enough, that’s why they get held up

    8. They should’ve left Kimi out on the old primes for the last 10 laps. His gap to Sebastian was 14 seconds, he surely could’ve done it. Poor strategy from Lotus as usual.

      1. Not so sure about that. I certainly thought they were going to with how late their pit stop was in the end. But those tyres do drop off a cliff and it is quite likely Kimi would have gone backwards at the end of the race.

        As it stands they didn´t give either strategy a shot. They vacillated and threw both options away.

      2. No way they could have known whether the tyres would have lasted. They could have dropped off massively after any amount of laps and Kimi might have found himself behind Alonso on the last lap.

    9. 100% cock up in not getting Kimi in front of Grosjean four laps earlier, he had soft tyres still at their peak and instead was left with just one chance on DRS, crazy strategy.

    10. I think Vettel just had both Lotuses covered. He was still setting personal bests in the final laps, so I don’t think Kimi would have been able to overtake him, as overtaking was pretty difficult today. Lotus lost its best chance of a win when the safety car came out. Grosjean had much fresher tyres and was only a few seconds behind, although Vettel seemed to have managed his tyres well in the beginning of the second stint.

      The safety car did bring Kimi back into play, so those four seconds he lost behind Hamilton were irrelevant, and I did think they could pull it off when they were both hounding Vettel. In hindsight, it would have been better for Kimi to try to stay out, and defend the lead from Vettel. In the worst case, if Kimi’s tyres had completely gone off the cliff, they would have finished 2nd and 4th, instead of 2nd and 3rd, so it was worth a shot. Trying to overtake Vettel on scrubbed options always seemed a tall order to me.

    11. How much time do you reckon Alonso lost behind Hamilton?

    12. Another ‘stellar’ job by the boys in the pits this weekend.

    13. Lotus cant afford to lose these vital points. All counts in the end. Fact is Kimi hasnt won since march and might not do again

    14. I was wondering why Lotus didn’t pit Kimi when Vettel was being held up by Hamilton. Other than the slow following of team orders by Grosgean I thought this was a significant factor in Kimi’s second place

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