Lotus F1 team 'turning page' after Raikkonen's exit to Ferrari

Lotus now has to "start a new story" without Kimi Raikkonen, says team boss Eric Boullier, as he insisted there was a long list of potential replacements

Lotus F1 team 'turning page' after Raikkonen's exit to Ferrari

Speaking to AUTOSPORT ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, Boullier was adamant that he did not regard losing Raikkonen to Ferrari as a blow.

"It is paddock life," he said. "I am happy that two years ago we gambled on Kimi, and it was a nice honeymoon story for two years.

"Now he is moving up to Ferrari. That is life. The combination of Lotus F1 and Kimi worked well in terms of popularity and also sporting-wise, on track.

"It is in some ways disappointing but it is not a blow. Let's turn the page and start a new story."

Nico Hulkenberg heads the list of contenders for the vacant Lotus seat, but Boullier said the shortlist was "quite long, actually. With some funny names... [from] surprising teams."

He added: "It is true that the people you can see, [Felipe] Massa and Hulkenberg, are on the market - so it is true that we talk to them.

"But the list is much, much longer."

Hulkenberg the only correct choice for Lotus

Although Lotus is still shoring up its financial future, aiming to close a deal with investor Infinity Racing and increase engine supplier Renault's support, Boullier denied the team needed Raikkonen's replacement to bring funding.

"It is [more] important if he comes without sponsorship," he said.

"I am doing racing to win; not to make money. This is my wish as a team principal, but the right strategy for an F1 team is you want to choose your drivers or merit, because he fits your strategy or sports model, not because of sponsorship."

Who should get the Lotus seat? Have your say in the AUTOSPORT forum

shares
comments
Stats: Singapore's fabulous four
Previous article

Stats: Singapore's fabulous four

Next article

Kimi Raikkonen: money prompted Lotus exit and Ferrari F1 switch

Kimi Raikkonen: money prompted Lotus exit and Ferrari F1 switch
Load comments
What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022