Eric Boullier has high Lotus Renault hopes for Japan
Eric Boullier believes Suzuka will be much more suited to a good race for Lotus Renault, after a painful weekend in Singapore.
The Group Lotus-backed R31 struggled to 15th and 17th with Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov respectively around Marina Bay – by far Renault's worst performance of a season that had started with high hopes.
But Enstone's French team principal is looking forward to what Japan can offer his black and gold charges.
'Yes it was painful but, to be honest, we have all put the experience of Singapore behind us,' said Boullier. 'We fully understand why we performed so poorly and the explanation is simple – slow corners just don't do it for the R31. It is written in its DNA. We could have worked three weeks on the set-up but we would not have found a second in lap time.
'This is what we know, and our mid-term mission is to make sure that we solve this issue with the R32 which should not be a problem.
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'Things should get better for us on quicker tracks and Suzuka is one of them. In Japan, we expect to return to the level of performance we saw in Belgium and Italy.'
Despite such a disappointing outing in Singapore, Boullier is delighted with the efforts of his current driver line-up – which has been without Robert Kubica since his serious rallying accident in February, and saw his replacement Nick Heidfeld replaced by Senna since Belgium.
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'Neither of them had a clear race in Singapore but this was not the main issue for us; the car was a much bigger worry,' said Boullier.
'Bruno is learning fast. He's always asking the engineers to push him, he wants to increase his knowledge and get better. He also loves the technical aspect of the job. This is the right approach. He's a very friendly person and everybody in the team likes him.
'Vitaly has scored 34 points since the beginning of the season. We have all seen how much he has improved since last year and he keeps getting better.
'As a driver there is always a little something to be gained here and there. He also gets on very well with Bruno. Both of them were at the factory after Singapore, meeting their engineers, and the way they collaborate in order to make the whole team better is very good to see.'