Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Eric Boullier, Sebastian Vettel, Yas Marina, 2012

No bitterness over Raikkonen departure – Boullier

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Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Eric Boullier, Sebastian Vettel, Yas Marina, 2012In the round-up: Lotus team principal Eric Boullier says he’s not bitter over losing Kimi Raikkonen to Ferrari.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Eric Boullier: “Kimi is an amazing racer, but new champions will join the list here soon I’m sure” (Lotus)

“Two years ago, when we decided to sign him, quite a few people thought we were crazy. And what happened in the end? We?ve been working with an amazing racer, who scored points for the team 27 times in a row, won two races, put motivation at a very high level at Enstone, and got on very well with his team mate.”

So kam Kimi zu Ferrari (Auto Motor und Sport, German)

According to AMuS Stefano Domenicali texted Nico Hulkenberg to let him know Ferrari were passing up the chance to sign him after the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Rush: Ron Howard on perils of filming F1 drama (The Telegraph)

Ron Howard: “Fortunately no one was hurt making Rush.”

Roebuck?s legends: BRM V16 (MotorSport)

Stirling Moss: “The V16 was a thoroughly nasty car. The brakes were OK, the acceleration was incredible ?ǣ until you broke traction ?ǣ but everything else I hated, particularly the steering and the driving position. Handling? I don?t remember it having any…”


Comment of the day

Keith Campbell on Ferrari’s prospects with an all-star driver line-up next year:

I just hope Ferrari build a car competitive enough to fight for the drivers’ championship next year. It would be such an anti-climax if Alonso and Raikkonen end up fighting it out for fifth and sixth in the championship.

It will be an interesting match-up as I see them as having similar strengths as drivers. I don?t think either is lacking in qualifying, but I think their main strengths are on race day: strong race pace, decisive when overtaking, but can play the percentages when necessary, which is why they are such consistent points scorers.

I expect Alonso to come out on top. He has the advantage of being in the team the last few years and possibly having the car more designed to his preferences (although next year’s car is a clean slate so Kimi may be able to have some input still). I also expect him to show just a fraction more outright pace over the season, although this is just opinion and I?m sure others will have the opposite view.

Either way, it makes for an exciting prospect. I just hope it?s a close contest and they have the car to make it matter!
Keith Campbell (@Keithedin)

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Damon Hill won the Italian Grand Prix 20 years ago today.

At the time he set a record by scoring his first three wins consecutively, having also won at Hungary and Belgium. The feat has since been matched by Mika Hakkinen, who scored his first three wins at the 1997 European, 1998 Australian and 1998 Brazilian Grands Prix.

Jean Alesi gave Ferrari their best result of the season with second and Michael Andretti took third in his final appearance for McLaren.

The race ended with an astonishing crash involving team mates Pierluigi Martini and CHristian Fittipaldi:

Image ?? Lotus/LAT

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  • 66 comments on “No bitterness over Raikkonen departure – Boullier”

    1. I really hope Hülkenberg finds a seat higher up the grid. If any young driver dresses it, it’s him. Lotus would be a perfect destination IMO.

      1. I totally agree.

      2. I was reading a interesting article today in Sky F1, about who were the Winners and Losers of the signing of Kimi to Ferrari. I´m gonna quote what they said because is very interesting point about Hulk:

        Nico Hulkenberg
        His time may come again, but the ‘stepping-stone’ move to Sauber hasn’t delivered the desired results for either 2014 or 2013. A switch to Lotus is, though, still on the cards. But a CV with four different teams in four years is a CV disconcertingly bereft of roots.

        I know every driver wants to have a better car, but teams also want continuity. Last year Montezemolo also said that he doesn´t want driver with so many F1 teams in his resume. So maybe the instability to stay with one team is playing againts Hulkenberg chances?

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          12th September 2013, 0:47

          But a CV with four different teams in four years

          @celeste which one is the fourth team? Let’s count
          -Williams (one year)
          – Force India (one year as a reserve, one year racing)
          – Sauber (this year)
          The Sky writer probablyu got confused by the “SAHARA” sticker pasted on the side of the Force India and counted it as another team

          1. @omarr-pepper The new one he tries to move on.

            Here I found the quote form Montezemolo (he is talkin about Hamilton I´m only using this as an example):

            Asked why he preferred Vettel to Hamilton, di Montezemolo replied: ‘Because he is younger and because Ferrari would be Hamilton’s third team. And if you’ve reached your third team, your career is already in its second half.

            So there. Seem like Montezemolo doesn´t like changing around

            1. Maybe somebody should point out to him that Ferrari was Alonso’s fourth team. And fifth team change.

            2. I dare say Ferrari could be Alonso’s last team, though.

            3. @crackers truth, as the article also points out. Maybe he didn´t count Minardi, or counted his two times in Renault as one.

              I think that the guy in sky was talking about how Hulk chance so often of team.

            4. @celeste I think you missed my point. Luca can’t say “we can’t hire a driver who has more than three teams on his resume”, because in truth, they already did in Alonso.

            5. @celeste @omarr-pepper @crackers Someone should also tell Luca Di Monte that Ferrari would be Vettel’s fourth team. Everyone forgets his stint as BMW’s third driver which saw him replace Kubica at Indy in 2007.

            6. The guy who signed Kimi said that? The guy who even tried to be a rally driver? LDM is such a joke.

            7. Seems like Luca was simply trying to think of a reason other than “We think Vettel is better.” Which is clearly what he meant.

            8. Not to mention that kimi has been in 4 different teams now, Ferrari also was Schumacher’s third team, though of course his time at jordan didn’t last very long …
              No, this isn’t really a full explanation I think, tsk.

          2. Hulk moving to Lotus for 2014 would be a fourth.

        2. @celeste

          How many of those transfers were Hulk’s fault? He lost his 2010 seat because he didn’t bring sponsorship money to the team. He wasn’t driving 2011 and thats hardly his fault.
          Leaving Force India 2012 was his decision – 100% – a bad one as we can all see now, but things back then looked pretty grim for this team.
          Sauber can’t even pay his salary and they will switch him for inexperienced driver only because the money (2010 all over again) not because they don’t like Nico or because he wants to leave.

          My point is – trowing him out because he is not paying to drive is not a reason to say he is “disconcertingly bereft of roots.”

          1. @vasschu Let see. And play with me in this one.
            2010- William— lost his seat because of money
            2011-Force India— third driver
            2012— Force India— he left on his own
            2013– SAUBER—he is looing to leave on his own (team has no money)
            2014— Another team

            Even when is not his fault, even for F1 standard is pretty weird to move teams that much.

            Anyway it was just a theory. If Hulk does move to Lotus, how are his chances to eventually move to a team like RBR, Ferrari or McLaren?

            @geemac Yes, but then maybe he isn´t counting BMW (only one start)

            1. Was Nico’s departure from Williams entirely about money though? Although the team may have wanted to move one driver aside for Maldonado and the sponsorship from PDVSA, it’s worth remembering that Rubens’s contract also expired at the end of the year.

              The question therefore is why Williams chose to retain Rubens over Hulkenberg given that they could have replaced Rubens instead – and the answer there is that, quite simply, Rubens outscored Hulkenberg quite handily (47 points to 22).

            2. Insteresting point. Thanks for bring it

    2. Hulk must go to Lotus, must. Would they go with Hulk/Grosjean or ditch Grosjean to make room for Massa?
      I’d feel sorry for Hulk if he went to Lotus and their car was terrible next year.
      He’s been stuck in the midfield since Williams when they went off boil, then Force India and then he moved to Sauber just as they became uncompetitive.
      That’s not the best of luck!

      1. Lotus have serious financial problems. Granted, Kimi’s departure might have freed up some cash, but they don’t have James Allison anymore either, so my hopes aren’t terribly high for them next year. I would love it if they surprise the world again, but it doesn’t look likely.

        1. I suspect that Kimi’s departure may have a negative effect on their finances. They really need to sign a new title sponsor, and losing Raikkonen does not help that effort. I do hope that they sort things out, Lotus have a great addition and have lifted way above their weigh these last few years.

    3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      12th September 2013, 0:17

      What on earth is going through the head of Lotus’s Twitterman?

      1. I can´t made my mind is I feel amused or offended.

      2. Substances banned in a lot of countries, I’d say. That guy has trouble making sense an awful lot of times.

      3. We have to feel for him. He tries hard to be fun and ends unfunny and, without Kimi, will remain few things interesting to talk about.

      4. Given how much attention they give to Kimi, I think they feel like they’ve been betrayed by a loved one. I’m not sure they’ll keep the job for much longer…

        Also, a little unfair to assume it’s a man running the account ;)

      5. Presumably “I want to tweet a four letter word but I can’t, I’ll have to make do with the picture”.

        I suspect some people didn’t get it.

      6. You just have to write ALO on the rabbit below. Maybe the upper one is called KIMI.

    4. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      12th September 2013, 0:20

      Looks like Nico Hulkenberg has all that bad luck for sharing the same first letters on his name, same nationality, has been in the same teams (except FI) as NH, our beloved Nick Heidfeld

      1. True. He loses his Williams seat because they couldn’t afford to keep him. He switches from FI to Sauber only for their fortunes to reverse. And now Sauber probably can’t afford to keep him either. There’s not many teams that can, sadly. Looks like it’s Lotus or bust for poor Nico.

      2. Incidentally, Nick Heidfeld did race for Jordan (now FI) so I suppose you could say that they share that quality, too.

      3. Can we expect him to finish up his career in a promising but ultimately lacking Lotus Renault then?

    5. Intriguing from Byron Young: I thought Luca Montezemolo made his choice, and everybody else had to accept it. Did he want to keep Massa for another year? Wonder if we’ll ever find out.

      And is that the two Lotus drivers for 2014: a couple of rabbits? (You decide which one’s Grosjean)

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        12th September 2013, 0:49

        @tomsk probably they will start to farm rabbits and sell them to overcome their financial problems and bee able to lure a reliable driver into the team.

    6. Does Grosjean have a contract for next year?

      I’d like Hulkenberg at Lotus, but I’d like Massa as well. I’d be very, very interested to see what Massa would be able to do in a fast car that is not a Ferrari. Would he be able to improve without all the politics and pressure? I don’t want Hulkenberg to miss out either though…

      1. Lotus have no drivers contracted for next year yet, but the other day Boullier said that if Kimi were to leave then Grosjean would probably stay for the sake of continuity.

        So assuming Lotus do keep Grosjean then the second Lotus seat is probably the last top seat available. A hotly contested one at that. Hulkenberg is apparently Lotus’ plan B, but then they’ve also got Valsecchi who is surely worth considering. Maldonado has been linked to Lotus too, and does come with €45m sponsorship (and he’s a much better driver than a lot of people give him credit for). And as you say, Massa might be in for a shot. It’ll be interesting to see who Lotus hire, but I suspect it will be Hulkenberg and Grosjean racing in black and gold in 2014.

      2. @roald @jackysteeg Would be great if they partnered Hulkenberg and Maldonado. Lots of cash to spend towards making a strong challenger, plus would be one of the outright fastest line-ups on the grid.

    7. If only Kubica was ready for an F1 return. Him and Hulkenberg at Lotus would be a brilliant line-up.

      1. @deej92 Not anymore. The difference between a great and a fantastic driver is very, very small and Kubica has surely lost the advantage he had, he can’t even properly move his arms now. His Formula 1 career is over. No need to keep mentioning his name every time there’s a driver seat available. IF he ever makes it back into a F1 car (which team would take the risk with a handicapped driver?) he will never be the driver he used to be.

        1. My thoughts exactly. It’s a terrible shame he never managed to be the champion most knew he could become. But the world is full of people who never meet their potential. Life moves on.

        2. Sadly I think you are right. Even if he does recover as well as he can, and even with a small decrease in his ability, he’s been out of the sport for a long time, and it has moved on. Coupled with the fierce competition for seats and the financial pressures on smaller teams it’s unlikely he will be able to claw his way back in. He’ll be one of the great “what if’s” of F1 unfortunately.

          On the bright side I hope he can continue in rallying and find much success there! Not the outcome anybody wanted for him, but it’s a happy outcome in its own way considering the severity of his injuries.

        3. Just look at Massa… =/

        4. @roald I should’ve said “would’ve been a brilliant line-up”. This is the only time I’ve mentioned his name with any seat opening but I do realise he probably won’t return to F1. There was so much promise which hopefully shows if he gets the Citroen seat in the WRC, it’s just a pity it didn’t fully show it in F1.

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        12th September 2013, 1:15

        @deej92 it worries me the number of accidents that Kubica is having. Or we can probably see it the other way. For his hard recovery, every single shunt he has is widely reported, more than any other drivers’ crashes in his same races / rally championships

        1. @omarr-pepper – Kubica’s accidents are probably just a by-product of his inexperience. I’d say his pace notes probably need to be a little more refined.

        2. Raikkonen crashed his rally car almost every race. Now he just ended a 27-race points streak in F1 and appears to be the most reliable driver. I guess that a F1-driver is used to driving on the limit all the time and in rally you just can’t do that.

    8. I think that tweet says different story about bitterness rofl

    9. I think Hulkenberg should get the Lotus seat I think out of all the drivers in the field that deserve a seat in a top(ish) team it’s him, the only other driver I think deserves a chance to move up the field is Jules Bianchi and I’ve got no doubt that will happen eventually

      1. The problem is that if Hulkenberg moves to Lotus, it will be his fourth team in five years – and his fourth team in four years if you aren’t counting his season on the sidelines.

    10. I don’t understand the logic in passing on Hulkenberg. It’s like Ferrari are afraid of risking what they’ve already got, and so they’re willing to pass on an uncertain, but possibly better result.

      Ironically, this seems to be Lotus’ race strategy: why risk crashing out chasing first when you can settle for a safe second place finish?

      1. They’ve gone for Kimi Raikkonen, who’s quick, consistent and one of the best drivers in the field. At 33 he could remain in the sport for several more years. I don’t particularly see why anybody wouldn’t pick Raikkonen. He’s a known entity in a front running car, and can deliver fantastic results. Seems entirely sensible to me!

        1. Good points. Also 2 experienced, proven winning drivers going into a season with the greatest number of regulation changes and unknowns in quite some time. If Ferrari performs well over the next two seasons they will have the luxury of resigning Raikkonen or bringing in a younger driver.

    11. I was very sceptical about Lotus’ choice before the 2012 season, too. I didn’t expect Raikkonen to score podiums, let alone win races. But he has proved me and all the other doubters wrong. Grosjean has scored less than 50% of Raikkonen’s points and Boullier has said that the Frenchman is a potential world champion. That and the fact that Lotus seem to be ready to keep Romain for another season makes me believe that his team mate Raikkonen really still belongs to the creme de la creme. It’s hard to believe that he can beat Alonso as a team mate but that should be a close fight in any case.

      1. Boullier talking about Grosjean is like Marko talking about Vettel. There’s a vested interest in selling him, given Genii are benefactors of the Gravity driver program.

    12. No bitterness from Boullier, but apparently quite a bit from the social media bod… Oh dear.

    13. I have an idea. Lotus is suffering from lack of money. There’s no deal for Renault power train yet. Hulk is good driver with a bargain price. Ferrari power train package is the cheapest.

      Lotus-Ferrari and Hulk and anyone else such as Maldonado(he has great sponsor!), Di Resta, Grosjean!

    14. The German article states that while Alonso is a master of politics and mind games, the greatest weapon of Kimi is his indifference which after a while gets under the skin of over ambitious rivals and brings the example of Montoya in McLaren. I think there is some merit to that.

      Besides, the first time around Ferarri thought Kimi would be another Schumacher in the sense of leading the team. He is not that type so they dropped him for Alonso who claimed he would emulate Schumacher. This time they know what they were getting. Kimi is no leader, but he won’t move aside for Alonso unless he is out of the title contention.

      1. @ifelix thanks for translating.

        Hehehe will be funny see Alonso trying to play mind games with Kimi: “shut up i know what i’m doing”

        1. No worries @celeste :)

          I think he could do worse by saying: “I don’t care” ;-)

    15. @Keithedin With Alonso likely to outqualify Kimi, outstart Kimi and outrace Kimi, I don’t think there’ll be that many people that put there money on Raikkonen beating Alonso next year.

      1. @william-brierty The problem is you can´t be sure that Alonso will outqualify and outstart Kimi.

        Different cars have different starts procedures, so maybe Kimi will outqualify and outstart Alonso, maybe Kimi will outstart Alonso. The truth is we won´t know until next year.

        1. @celeste @boudica No, I can’t be sure that Alonso will outqualify and outstart Kimi, but I equally can’t be sure that Vettel will have the upper hand on Ricciardo; we can be sure of nothing but we can make educated guesses. Alonso is the better qualifier of the two, and with Kimi having to relearn the ropes at Ferrari next year, I think Alonso will have a comfortable advantage in qualifying, in fact I think the Alonso-Raikkonen qualifying battle next year will be similar to the Alonso-Massa qualifying battle this year. In terms of the starts, you are right in that there could be a different start procedure, but the Ferrari has been by far the best car off the start since 2011, and if Ferrari can carry that advantage across three radically different chassis, I would imagine that the Ferrari will remain the fastest starter next year. In terms of Raikkonen v. Alonso at the start in 2014, they may well be even stevens after the initial launch, but the way Alonso navigates the first lap and balances offense with defense is really in a league of one. Raikkonen won’t see Alonso for dust on the first lap. I can’t be sure, but it’s likely.

      2. Outstart Kimi? Kimi has always been a good starter.

        1. Not better at the start than than ALO, VET, MAS, …

          1. @boudica @spoutnik Yes, so that’s ALO, VET, MAS that are better than Kimi off the grid, and, on their day, I would add HAM, BUT, ROS, GRO to that list.

    16. I don’t get the point why it would be bad for Lotus to hire Hulk. Yes, The Hulk will change team for the forth time. But he acquired some good knowledge about how different team works. So, he may improve something in Lotus. Secondly, he achieved very good results in every team if conditions where good. He even fought for a win against Hamilton. That experience is quite useful too.
      I think that Hulkenberg acquired very much information to use it. Lotus don’t need to think twice. Hulk is the one who can replace Kimi.

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