Boullier: Challenge to keep team morale high
17 July, 2011
Jul.17 (Renault) As the Renault team prepares for one of the Formula 1 calendar’s biggest races – the German Grand Prix – team principal & MD Eric Boullier discusses his team’s unique spirit and his hopes that it will help raise the team’s performance this next weekend at Nurburgring.
It was a tough weekend for the team at the home race?
Boullier: Yes, it was and there was a general feeling of disappointment within the team. That said, it was good for Nick [Heidfeld] to recover from 16th on the grid to 8th position when he crossed the line, it was a positive and determined drive from him. At Silverstone, we were unable to recover from the tricky period the team has been going through, however since then we have continued to work really hard in the factory to improve the situation. We have some good developments coming, which unfortunately were not available for Silverstone but will be ready in Nurburgring. I am very confident these will take our performance forwards, closer to where it needs to be.
Nick managed to put in one of his trademark performances to work his way through the order?
Boullier: Yes he did, Nick’s good at those kinds of performances. He did well to work his way up the grid, and we were relieved to score some points even if we did lose our fourth position in the Constructors’ Championship to Mercedes GP. We will be looking to claim that back at the Nurburgring.
How difficult has it been to keep team morale high recently?
Boullier: It’s always a challenge, especially if the results are not forthcoming. But, I enjoy this side of things; my job as a Team Principal is to reassure people, keep spirits high and give people targets that we can reach. It is one of the most challenging aspects of the job because you are dealing with human relationships, sporting and political issues, and there will always be good and bad times. However, the main thing is to stick together and make sure we reach the heights that we know we can.
In Germany, can we expect some improvements to the car?
Boullier: Yes, we most certainly can. There will be some upgrades on the car which will help considerably. Also, on the race team side, we must not miss any opportunity that we are provided with. We know we haven’t been fast enough recently, but with the hard work we are all putting in, it will get better. It has to get better.
Two races remain until the August break, what can we expect from the team?
Boullier: We definitely need to catch up with Mercedes GP, who has overtaken us into fourth spot in the Constructors’ Championship which, with our pace, is the target this year. We can make some considerable technical changes, and we may also use a reverse exhaust system; this is something we still have to evaluate. There is a lot to look at, but we must make some positive steps in the next two races.