We recently mentioned Lotus F1 boss Eric Boullier’s patience with driver Kimi Raikkonen as the Formula One champion struggles to come to grips with the new format of F1 upon his return tot he sport in 2012. The French team boss seems to believe it will just take time for Kimi to adjust and that’s the one thing he didn’t seem to have with his 2011 drivers, Nick Heidfeld, Bruno Senna or Vitaly Petrov.
The reason for the comment was due to some rumors that the team were/are not happy with the Finnish driver during an incident in Monaco over the steering system int he car. Raikkonen felt it was un-drivable and decided to park the car while the mechanics feverishly replaced the entire steering system to attempt to provide more steering feedback to the driver. In the world of powered steering, it can a difficult task to achieve the right level a driver likes.
As such, the rumors made it to Kimi this week as he was pressed about the possible rift with the team. The typically short-answering Fin said:
“I don’t know where you heard that. Go and ask the team and you will get the truth.”
“It’s no different to the first time I met them.”
When asked if he was still happy at Lotus F1 he said:
“Why wouldn’t I be?”
Typical for Kimi, he’s not going to expand on the issue and as rumors, he won’t engage them with any amount of commentary. The track record for Boullier is to be very vocal in the press about his drivers and share his frustration openly. The recent public announcement that Kimi will just need time to reach his potential is not necessarily out of character but time will tell whether the team boss is placating or preaching. Grosjean doesn’t seem to have an issue with the steering and as Sky Sports reporter Mark Hughes points out, Jarno Trulli used to have the same issue when he was at the team and next to the Italian was Fernando Alonso who just got on with the program and won.