Lotus boss Boullier pleased by early season form

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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier is pleased with the start that his team has made to the 2013 Formula One season, believing that they have built momentum going into the European races.

“Achieving a one-off result is one thing, but keeping momentum is a far bigger challenge and I’m pleased to say we’re doing a great job of that so far this year,” Boullier said in a team statement. “It’s such a finely balanced and competitive season.”

The Frenchman echoed Kimi Raikkonen’s belief that the team needed to improve its qualifying form, but he is pleased with the race pace that has seen the Finn claim one win and two podiums so far this year.

“If we look to our most recent race in Bahrain, on Saturday it looked like maybe we had lost our edge having qualified below expectations. Fortunately, we were always confident in our race pace and that confidence proved to be well placed.”

Romain Grosjean also impressed in Bahrain, fighting through the field to finish on the podium, and Boullier is sure that he can build upon this result.

“Consistency has been there already for him [Grosjean] in the first three races, but I think fighting at the front again will come as a big relief to him after a difficult start to the year. His season really starts now.”

Lotus’ start to the season suggests that they will be in the running for both championships, with Raikkonen being the only driver within one race win of current leader Sebastian Vettel. However, if Grosjean fails to match the form of Red Bull’s Mark Webber, the team may struggle to keep up in the constructors’ championship.

F1 Paddock Pass: United States Grand Prix post-race (VIDEO)

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As Lewis Hamilton took another step towards his fourth Formula 1 World Championship Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, plenty of other topics of discussion emerged in the wake of Round 17 of the season from Austin.

Hamilton’s win came as his Mercedes AMG Petronas team claimed its fourth consecutive Constructor’s Championship, Scuderia Ferrari came up short once again despite a valiant effort in second and third, and Max Verstappen’s penalty after the race was the major talking point.

Elsewhere Valtteri Bottas struggled again, the Sahara Force India twins continued to pick up points, Carlos Sainz Jr. made a major positive impact in his first start with Renault, Brendon Hartley impressed on debut at Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean and Haas F1 Team endured a tough weekend on Haas’ home soil.

Check out all the recap from the latest USGP in the latest post-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, below.