Little prospect of change at Lotus
Former Renault team principal Eric Boullier has hinted his Lotus drivers are likely to remain the same next year
Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has all but officially confirmed Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean will form his driver pairing for a second season.
Despite Grosjean's recent one-race ban for causing a four-car pile-up at the first corner of the Belgian Grand Prix, the Frenchman has performed admirably in his first full campaign so far, finishing on the podium on three occasions, while Raikkonen, remains in the championship hunt.
Asked by Formula1.com if his driver line-up will be Raikkonen and Grosjean again, Boullier replied: "I think it will look pretty much the same as what we have this season. With Kimi we have a two-year contract, with an option."
It is certain the option will be taken up, in particular given how Raikkonen has performed and appears to be enjoying life with Lotus this season.
Explaining the change in Raikkonen compared to when he was previously in F1, Boullier added: "At the start he needed a while to get back up to pace and he probably didn't make the best out of qualifying.
"But in the race he proved himself to be a very good finisher. He had so many podiums in a row.
"And about his metamorphosis, I can say he's more experienced and more mature."
The much-needed victory that would crown the season for Lotus and Raikkonen remains elusive, but Boullier is convinced it will come as they chase Ferrari for third in the constructors' championship.
"Their (Ferrari) package is fast, but they are mainly relying on one driver (Alonso)," said Boullier. "That is fine if you are chasing the drivers' championship, but it's not the strategy if you are chasing the constructors' championship."
As for which race the team will win, Boullier said: "It's always the next one. We hoped to win in Singapore. It didn't happen, so we will move our ambitions to Japan and so on."