Boullier: Pleasing to see smiles back on faces
6 September, 2011
Sep.6 (Renault) With Formula 1 making its final European pit stop of the season, Renault team boss Eric Boullier talks about the team’s re-emerging spirit as it looks to push on from Spa-Francrochamps.
Reflecting on the Belgian Grand Prix, there were more positives to extract than negatives…
Sportingly, it could have been a better weekend because we had one car in the low points and the other not scoring any which is not sufficient. However, all in all it was a good weekend; we had a very respectable qualifying session and Bruno stepped into the cockpit successfully. These aspects were quite promising; it was encouraging for the team to be able to see the cars delivering and their work bearing fruit.
Do you think there was a noticeable lift in team spirits in Spa?
I think the positive energy really came about after qualifying because everyone knows it is extremely challenging for a new driver to step in. Seeing the team applauding the drivers after Q2 and Q3 was a good sign; I was very happy to see that, and it was pleasing to see smiles back on everyone’s faces.
Some other positive news was third driver Romain winning the GP2 Series – you must have been very pleased for him?
Yes, he did it all in the correct manner which is very important. Everybody is talking about him in the paddock now; he became the new GP2 champion three races before the end, which is impressive. He’s done a good job in that discipline and I think he’s now ready to step back into Formula 1.
With a change of race driver, do you find you have to alter your approach in the way you work with them?
Yes, because each driver is very different. There are different characters with varying mannerisms, so you have to adapt depending on whom it is that’s in the race seat. Even if Bruno has been part of the LRGP family for a number of months now, it is a different proposition that he faces as a racing driver.
Do you think Monza will provide a greater indication of ‘the Bruno effect’?
Yes, it’s difficult to draw too much from one race alone (Spa), whether that’s in terms of who is in the race seat or the effect of the upgrade package, but Monza should give us a clearer indication as to how things are going. Monza is always a difficult track because it requires a low downforce set-up; it has high speed corners and high speed straights. After the steps we made in Spa, I’m confident we will have a progressive weekend in Italy too.