Lotus Renault press release
"THIS EVENT BRINGS MOTORSPORT TO THE UAE IN A BIG WAY"
Eric Boullier looks to Abu Dhabi, a race he believes has been a massive success during its first two years on the calendar.
How would you summarise the team's performance at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix?
It was a frustrating weekend because we had some performance and, at times, the car was delivering. As a result, this was not the end product we were looking for or expecting. We went into the weekend optimistic that it might be a track that would suit our car. What was most frustrating about the whole experience was that there were glimpses of performance. We did not deliver when it mattered, however, and that's at the very heart of our slightly underwhelming weekend. We were looking to the Sunday as a real opportunity to get some points in the basket, but it was not to be.
Looking to Abu Dhabi - how does it rank alongside other modern F1 events?
Abu Dhabi is a very, very popular event and racing spectacle. To give you an example: we are absolutely jammed to the rafters in terms of the number of guests we have, and the interest we have received. It arrived on the calendar back in 2009 and since then it has acted as an extremely important race for the annual F1 circus. It brings motorsport to the United Arab Emirates in a big way.
As I've said before, for the sport to be global it needs to plant its flag in many different parts of the world. Formula 1 has done that in Abu Dhabi and the race has been a massive success in the two years it has taken place as we saw at last year's season finale in which our very own Vitaly was heavily involved. From a team side of things, we expect to use the Abu Dhabi race weekend as an opportunity to secure our fifth place in the championship, and to secure as many points as possible.
For a few races now it has been clear that our pace is better
The midfield competitiveness on the grid has increased in recent weeks…
It has, yes. However, for a few races now it has been clear that our pace is better than these competitors. At times we have even matched the competitiveness of Mercedes. We know where we are in terms of pace, which is between fourth and fifth place on the grid and we just want to ensure we get to the end of the race weekend with some points to our name. That alone will solidify our position as the fifth best team on this year's grid.
It is our only target now that we get our car up amongst the points and show people that this team is ready to launch its assault on next year's championship. For now, it's heads down and all eyes focussed on giving this team a result to be proud of in the UAE.