Could Lotus F1 actually beat McLaren to 3rd

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Lotus F1 is doing a terrific job of it in 2012. They have a new dual DRS, which they tested but haven’t ran in anger, and are knocking at the door of podium finishes. At 159 Constructor’s Championship points so far, they are only one point away from McLaren in 3rd place. Could Lotus F1 actually take the spot from the boys from Woking? Eric Boullier says it would be very difficult but that is what he’s focused on:

“It’s obviously disappointing to lose third place, but it’s very, very tight and we’ve built a gap over the fifth-placed team.” said Boullier.

“However, we are hungry for success and we do want more. If we can keep bringing the developments and updates we have been planning and make them work on track then I think we should be able to defend our current position.

“I am not sure about third or fourth by the end of the year, as everything is very close, but I am pretty convinced that we will be in the fight for one of the prime places in the constructors’ championship.”

If you were going to pound your chest about beating McLaren in the constructor’s title, then maybe Germany isn’t the best place to do it. McLaren’s Jenson Button has been struggling since his win in Australia and has become a measuring stick as to just how difficult the team is finding this 2012 season. That all may have changed at Hockenheim.

The team scored a 2nd place finish with Button and that is saying a lot as the Brit really has been running mid-field at best for most of the season. To have Button on the podium validates the performance gains the team has made with their camper full of whiz-bang gadgets and upgrades they brought to Germany. No one knows exactly what they brought but there’s a good chance a Sham-Wow was involved (you knows those Germans…they’re always making good things).  However, the clear performance gain could meet its match if Lotus F1 adds some kit of their own in Hungary.

The team have tested a new dual DRS that is unlike the pioneering efforts of Mercedes and this may be an element to keep them in touch with the wizards of Woking. A new trick DRS and the ever-present Boullier whip at the back is enough to make any team take McLaren to task and see if their mumbling Finn can find a way around Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. They also have that Permane guy who is like F1’s version of the awesome Big Jim doll with break-away muscle armband. There is also another really good tidbit in this “Lotus F1 does extremely well and punches above their weight” story in 2012.

That is the presence of capital to continue the development war during the year. It seemed that perhaps s venture capital company as your backer was not always a sure thing and many were worried the development would suffer but this is a team that can and does. they’ve faced more adversity than many teams put together. Employee tragedy, spygate, driver tragedy, driver changes and sponsor loss. It’s amazing they are still in the game and that, if for any other reason, says more about the team than it does any trophy in my book.

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