No superstars at Lotus says boss Boullier

Lotus HQ at Enstone
Lotus HQ at Enstone

Team boss Eric Boullier says he has created a team structure that does not rely on hugely-paid superstars, in reference to the staff at Enstone, the former home of title-winning Benetton and Renault, now charging back to the top of Formula 1 as Lotus.

Frenchman Boullier runs the team for Genii, a Luxembourg private equity group that bought the works Renault team when Fernando Alonso and Flavio Briatore departed in 2009.

“First I had to restructure the group,” he told O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.

“People who never had the opportunity to show their best work got their chance. I asked them to be creative.”

He said he promoted from within, or signed up people from other teams who were fettered by the higher profiles of their bosses.

“It’s a pleasure to see them work with us,” smiled Boullier, “especially because we do not have the money to pay really high wages. We pay less than half what Red Bull pays.”

But it’s paying off. Kimi Raikkonen won the first race of 2013, and the Lotus E21 is now regarded as the kindest car on its tyres in the new Pirelli-dominated performance era.

“Now, our professionals are being courted by our adversaries,” said Boullier, undoubtedly referring to technical director James Allison, who reportedly was approached by McLaren.

“But with our structure, if one of them should leave, the organisation is not affected. There are always several people waiting for their chance. We have no superstars in Lotus,” insisted Boullier.

He said his first target – setting up a good team structure – has been achieved. The second was to win races.

“The next step is to win the championship,” he continued. “And then to challenge for the title regularly.”