Lotus’ season so far as been far from a smooth cruise. Following an explosive start which saw Kimi Raikkonen take his 20th career victory in Australia, the team have frequently stuttered. In certain regards, this season has closely resembled their 2012 campaign. As the paddock takes shape before a weekend, Lotus are tipped as the dark horses, yet often fail to rise to the occasion. However, several developments seem to have brought the Enstone based team back into contention, but was a spectacular German Grand Prix performance merely a flash in the pan?
Team Principal Eric Boullier, certainly believes that the team have recovered from a baron spell, with their double podium performance in Germany. In an interview today, the Frenchman stated; “It was a very good race from the team and one which validates all the hard work that has been going on back at Enstone, so firstly I’d like to thank everyone at the factory for their efforts. There’s been a lot of time and energy put into bringing upgrades to each race and getting the car back to the front after three difficult weekends, so it’s very satisfying to see the result of all that hard work being rewarded.”
The Lotus resurgence seems to have arrived just in time. Between Monaco and Britain, the team claimed just 13 points; a downturn in fortunes which had almost obliterated Raikkonen’s chances of Championship glory. It was also responsible for the team’s fall to fourth in the Constructors Championship.
Boullier highlighted the team’s intentions, stating; “Being back on podium was exactly what we needed. We need to continue like this to make up for lost ground in both championships. We have the Silverstone test coming up with will give us an opportunity to analyse the new tyres and also continue our development push with the E21, so it’s good to have this extra motivation for a strong race in Budapest before the summer break.”
It is important to note that Lotus may not be out of the woods yet. Their overall pace throughout last weekend was impressive, yet the front running reestablishment may well have been abetted by the significant rise in track temperature during Saturday and Sunday. The E21 is very much a work in progress, yet Lotus will not give up on their 2013 campaign just yet.