Boullier expecting slow down in 2013 development race

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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier is expecting a slow down in the development race for this season as Formula One teams prepare for the major change in the regulations in 2014.

Next season will see an overhaul of the existing regulations as V8 engines are replaced by turbocharged V6 power units, leaving many teams with a dilemma over their development path: start early and sacrifice the rest of this season, or impress late on this year only to be a step behind come next season. However, Boullier believes that the changes are big enough to warrant extensive planning.

“I think we will see most of the teams – with the exception maybe of Red Bull – slowing right down in their development of this years’ cars in preparation for the challenge of 2014,” Boullier told the official Formula One website.

“With this in mind I think we are in a very strong position for the second half of the season, as our car is currently competing at the very front of the pack.”

However, this does not mean that Lotus’ recent good form will nose-dive in the remaining nine races, with Boullier believing that the upgrades developed over the summer will put the Enstone-based team in good stead for the rest of the season.

“We also have a strong upgrade package for Spa which will most likely form our baseline for the remainder of the year, so our aim should be to continue fighting for podiums right to the end.”

Lotus currently occupy fourth place in the constructors’ championship, trailing Mercedes (P2) and Ferrari (P3) by just 25 and 11 points respectively.

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:


2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars


 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions



Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.


Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.