Lotus F1 team principal Eric Boullier has made his report of his team's first half of the season and sees no reason to believe that the strong form cannot continue into the second half of the season.
The Frenchman finds clear signs that the team has again made a step forward.
"Overall I’d say it’s been a positive start", he started. "There have been a lot of high points, but also perhaps some less satisfying moments. We’ve taken eight podiums from ten races so far, which is a great achievement for the team and shows that once again we’ve clearly made a step forwards from the previous year. Of course, amongst those highlights we’ve had three races – Monaco, Montréal and Silverstone – where we did not score as many points as we should have done, but the important thing is that we recovered from these small blips to challenge for wins at the Nürburgring and also in Budapest. For me it’s a big positive to show that we have the capability as a team to bounce back and sustain a challenge against opponents with greater resources at their disposal."
He pinpoints the highlight of the season as the season opening win from Raikkonen at the Australian GP, and reiterates that both Lotus drivers are doing a good job in ceasing the opportunities that arise.
"I would have to give Kimi ten out of ten. He’s done a terrific job right from the beginning of the season and his remarkable run of twenty-seven consecutive points finishes speaks for itself. No matter what happens he’s always there, as we saw in the final few laps at Monaco. He is playing a big part in pushing the team forwards, and of course having such a popular character in the seat has its advantages too.
"For Romain it was a more difficult start to the year coming off the back of a tough season in 2012, and it maybe took him a little while to settle down and start performing to the best of his ability. With that in mind, it gives me great pleasure to see him learn from those experiences and to really start delivering the kind of results we’ve always known he is capable of. In Germany and Hungary he really put together the complete package over two consecutive weekends, and this should now be his baseline. He knows that if he wants to be winning races and fighting for championships then he must deliver this kind of quality drive at every Grand Prix. If he can keep up this level, Romain can be a future contender for titles, I’m sure of it."
With Lotus currently third in the Constructors' championship, Boullier also wants to change the original season target and aim even higher.
"The championship is so close between ourselves, Ferrari and Mercedes at the moment that we really need to be aiming a little higher to make sure our goals are reached. I think therefore that to target P2 is a better ambition, and we will be pushing harder than ever to sustain that challenge. We have an ambitious group of people at Enstone and a top three placing at the end of the year is much possible, which would be a fantastic achievement for everybody involved. We head into the next nine races on a real high."