Lotus boss Eric Boullier says that the team apologised to Kimi Raikkonen for a bad strategy call at Silverstone – and insists that the incident won’t harm the Enstone outfit’s chances of retaining the Finn for 2014.
Kimi dropped to fifth in the sprint to the flag following the final safety car after he didn’t pit for new tyres, and could not defend against those on fresher rubber.
“Our strategy was great until the last safety car,” said Boullier. “We should have called Kimi in to save at least one position and make the podium. Unfortunately, we made the wrong call for which we apologised to Kimi and to the team. This sometimes happens and it isn’t easy to manage when you have so many safety car periods. In Germany we’re confident we will be competitive and aiming to make amends.
“We’re all grown -ups and we’re all pretty frank with each other. It was pretty obvious with hindsight that we made the wrong call. No team can say that they make the correct call on every occasion; whether in race strategy, car design philosophy or any other aspect of the sport.
“Kimi was pretty frustrated when he got out of the car which is understandable – we wouldn’t want a driver who wasn’t frustrated after what happened – but there’s no point sitting in the corner sulking; we’re focused on getting a good result in Germany.”
Regarding Raikkonen’s future plans he said: “Kimi’s an intelligent guy and he won’t let a single pit stop call define a decision like where to drive for 2014. One of his psychological strengths is that he clearly lets you know when he’s upset about something, then he refocuses and gets on with the next challenge very quickly. He seems to like being with Lotus F1 Team and we’re doing everything we can to show him this is the place to be for next season and beyond.”