Boullier: Second place in constructors’ the target for Lotus

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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier is confident that the team can still secure second place in the constructors’ championship following a good run of form that has seen the British team cut the gap to Ferrari and Mercedes.

Four podiums between drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean in the past three races has left the team just twenty-three points behind Mercedes and a further ten adrift from Ferrari, and with 172 points still to play for, Boullier is confident of catching both teams.

“If we continue as we have done for the last few races, then mathematically second in the standings becomes a very attainable target,” Boullier explained. “Of course, we all know that anything can happen in this sport, but second place would be an amazing result so we’ll push as hard as we can and you never know what might happen.”

Lotus have claimed just one victory so far this season at the opening round in Australia, but Romain Grosjean came close in Japan to securing his maiden win, only for Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to pass him late on.

“There’s one fundamental problem with trying to win at the moment, and that’s the pace of the Red Bulls,” Boullier said. “We’ll keep pushing and if we can beat them again this year it would be a tremendous performance.”

The team is currently in the process of finding a replacement for Raikkonen as the Finn prepares to return to Ferrari in 2014. The man he is replacing, Felipe Massa, is thought to be vying for the seat at Lotus, but he faces competition from Sauber starlet Nico Hulkenberg.

Al Unser Jr. back in IndyCar after a decade away: ‘Life is very good’

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There’s been somewhat of a hole in Al Unser Jr.’s heart ever since he retired from racing in 2007.

It was a void, something was missing.

But now, after a decade away from racing, Unser has found the right medicine to fill that hole in his heart: he’s back in the racing game again.

No, he’s not driving again (although he does participate occasionally in vintage races), but the two-time Indianapolis 500 (1992 and 1994) winner is definitely back in the IndyCar world.

And he couldn’t be happier.

“For me, it’s a dream come true,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “Since I stepped out of the race car and retired from racing, there’s been something missing from my life, and it’s racing.”

Unser has hooked up with Harding Racing. The team competed in three races last season as a ramp-up for a full 17-race effort this season. While Unser’s official title with the team is “consultant,” he’s involved in so much more.

His main role is as a driving coach to 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year Gabby Chaves. But he’s also involved in so many other areas, including helping the team obtain sponsorships and much more.

He then added, “I’m involved in every sense of the word except actually driving the car. And I’m happy about that because I’m too old to drive the car.”

Unser, who won CART championships in 1990 and 1994, is now 55. He’s so involved with his new job that he even moved from his native New Mexico and has relocated to suburban Indianapolis.

Not only is it a new start for Unser, it also is for Chaves. After running all 16 races in 2015 for Bryan Herta Autosport with Curb-Agajanian, he competed in just seven races for Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and only three races for Harding Racing last season.

But he definitely impressed the team, with a fifth- (Texas) and ninth-place (Indianapolis 500) finish in the first two races and 15th (Pocono) in the team’s final run of the season.

That’s why when Harding Racing decided to go fulltime in 2018, Chaves was their pick for behind the wheel. And Unser was their pick to help guide him to potential stardom in the series.

“(Team owner) Mike Harding is definitely a person that when he decides to do something, he does it right,” Unser told IndyCar.com. “The potential for this organization is through the sky. We’re all working really hard here and we see the potential.”

And as for Unser?

“Life is good, life is very good,” he told IndyCar.com. “We’re back full force, eager and better than ever.”

Click here for the full story about Unser from IndyCar.com.