Boullier working on keeping Raikkonen at Lotus

Leave a comment

Eric Boullier has admitted that he is doing everything in his power to keep Kimi Raikkonen at Lotus amidst Red Bull’s rumored advances for the Finnish driver.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has openly shortlisted the 2007 world champion as a potential replacement for Mark Webber, but Boullier believes that Raikkonen is fully-aware of the pros and cons of making each decision.

“It’s clear that Lotus F1 Team is a desirable place to be and we know there’s been a lot of talk about Kimi’s future,” Boullier said on a team statement. “We all know that Kimi is an individual and he will make his decision in his own time.

“Naturally, we want him to continue in the sport and continue with Lotus F1 Team so we’re doing everything we can do to make that happen.”

Raikkonen joined Lotus as part of his comeback in 2012, finishing 3rd in the drivers’ championship with one win to his name. The Finnish driver, loved for his no-nonsense attitude, is competing with Daniel Ricciardo for the second seat at Red Bull following Mark Webber’s confirmation that he would be walking away from the sport at the end of the season.

F1 2017 driver review: Max Verstappen

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Max Verstappen

Team: Red Bull Racing
Car No.: 33
Races: 20
Wins: 2
Podiums (excluding wins): 2
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 1
Points: 168
Laps Led: 133
Championship Position: 6th

Max Verstappen rise as a once-in-a-generation talent continued through the 2017 Formula 1 season, even if reliability issues meant we were made to wait for his best form to arrive.

Verstappen stole the show in a wet-dry Chinese Grand Prix by charging from 16th to seventh in the opening lap before ultimately finishing third for Red Bull, yet he would not grace the podium again until the Malaysian Grand Prix at the start of October.

A combination of power unit problems and on-track clashes saw Verstappen retire from seven of the 12 races in the intermittent period, with incidents in Spain and Austria being avoidable.

Perhaps most embarrassing of all was his stoppage due to a power unit failure in front of a grandstand swathed in orange at the Belgian Grand Prix, a race tens of thousands of Dutch fans had attended to cheer Verstappen on.

But when Verstappen got things right, it was – as he frequently quoted – simply, simply lovely. There was plenty left in the tank, as proven by his sheer domination of the races in Malaysia and Mexico as he took the second and third wins of his career.

Perhaps even more impressive was Verstappen’s victory over Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the qualifying head-to-head battle this year, an area the Australian has traditionally been strong in. Verstappen outqualifed his teammate 13-7 – it wasn’t even close…

All in all, Verstappen once again proved that on his day, he is one of the finest talents to grace F1 in recent years. With the right car underneath him next year, a title fight is certainly possible and will be the target – but there is always room for improvement.

And that is the scary part: Verstappen is only going to get better and better.

Season High: Dominating in Malaysia after an early pass on Lewis Hamilton.

Season Low: Crashing out on Lap 1 in Austria.