Boullier reluctant to impose team orders

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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier believes it is unwise to impose team orders so early on in the season following the fall-out from Red Bull’s “Multi 21” scandal.

“We should not have team orders so early in the season, not while the championship is at such an early stage,” he explained. “When it happens you need to fix it and fix it quickly.”

However, the Frenchman admitted that team orders were unavoidable in the sport, albeit immoral.

“It happens because of the adrenaline and excitement of winning a race, but I think in Formula 1 it should not happen.

“Don’t forget that the drivers are paid to work for you, as they are for the company.”

Boullier also inferred that Sebastian Vettel should be sanctioned by Red Bull for ignoring team orders in Malaysia.

“I don’t see any people in the world who could disobey their company and not be sanctioned, or at least give clarification as to why they’ve disobeyed.

“One of our drivers [Kimi Raikkonen] is famous for doing pretty much what we wants, but when you have 600 people behind you, there is a certain respect you must have for the team.”

Lotus are fortunate enough to have two comparatively relaxed drivers, with Kimi Raikkonen clearly leading the team. However, when he has raced Romain Grosjean on track, Lotus have allowed the drivers to race, with Raikkonen stamping his authority with a hard-but-fair move on Grosjean in Hungary last season.

NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing
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Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.