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.

IndyCar 2017 driver review: Sebastien Bourdais

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. A dream start occurred for Sebastien Bourdais and the Dale Coyne Racing team upon their reunion, followed by a nightmare in Indianapolis with a huge crash in qualifying, and ended with a rapid recovery to build confidence for 2018.

Sebastien Bourdais, No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing Honda

  • 2016: 14th Place, 1 Win, Best Start 3rd, 1 Podium, 3 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 24 Laps Led, 11.9 Avg. Start, 11.2 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 21st Place (8 Starts), 1 Win, Best Start 6th, 2 Podiums, 2 Top-5, 5 Top-10, 74 Laps Led, 12.4 Avg. Start, 11.0 Avg. Finish

The 2017 campaign for Sebastien Bourdais upon his return to Dale Coyne Racing will forever be known as both a year of “what could have been” and a year of “what a comeback it was.”

The abnormal season for Bourdais stretched eight races with a three-month break in the middle owing to his own mistake qualifying for the Indianapolis 500, which left him with multiple pelvic fractures and a fracture to his right hip. His car was a rocket ship; but after two laps at 231 mph, Bourdais appeared to over-correct and destroyed the wall at Turn 2 in Indy in a massive 127G impact. It was a horrific looking accident, but one that also saw Bourdais rather lucky to have not been injured worse.

It set forth in motion an incredible recovery that saw Bourdais back testing the Monday after Mid-Ohio, just over two months since the accident, then in race action just over three months later at the 1.25-mile Gateway Motorsports Park oval, and because Bourdais is a regulation badass, he finished in the top-10 straight out of the box. He worked as hard as he did to return earlier than anticipated to avoid an offseason of questions asking if he’d come back and if he’d be strong enough to do so.

The recovery was a welcome story to end the year after the agony at Indy that stopped a potential title run or certainly top-five in points finish in its tracks. A classic Coyne strategy special vaulted Bourdais from last to first and a popular win in his U.S. hometown of St. Petersburg to kick off the year. A second place at Long Beach backed it up and eighth at Barber kept him atop the standings.

But Indy was shaping up to be an important bounce back weekend after Bourdais got taken out in Phoenix, then incurred an engine failure in the IMS road course race. And then, of course, his loud and violent accident qualifying for the ‘500 changed the course of the season.

After three “almost there” but largely unfulfilling years at KV Racing Technology, Bourdais embraced the family atmosphere back at Coyne along with longtime engineers Craig Hampson and Olivier Boisson, determined to continue punching above the team’s weight. He crafted a remarkable story all season and will be keen to fulfill it over the course of a proper full campaign in 2018.