Boullier: 10 out of 10 for Kimi in 2013 so far

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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier has expressed his delight over Kimi Raikkonen’s performances so far in 2013, saying that he would score the Finn’s season at “ten out of ten.”

Raikkonen won the opening round of the season in Australia, and he is the only driver to have scored points at every race in 2013 so far. This consistency has elevated him to second place in the drivers’ championship, and Boullier could not be happier.

“I would have to give Kimi ten out of ten,” Boullier told the Lotus F1 Team website. “He’s done a terrific job right from the beginning of the season and his remarkable run of twenty-seven consecutive points finishes speaks for itself.

“No matter what happens he’s always there, as we saw in the final few laps at Monaco. He is playing a big part in pushing the team forwards, and of course having such a popular character in the seat has its advantages too.”

Raikkonen’s points-scoring streak is now an all-time record in Formula One, but with Red Bull actively pursuing the Finn as a replacement for Mark Webber in 2014, he may be entering his final half-season with Lotus.

Lotus’ best chance to win for a second time in 2013 may come at the next round in Belgium. Raikkonen is one of the most successful drivers to have tackled the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit, winning the race four times and finishing on the podium last season.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.