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Lotus boss: Grosjean for champ!

2012-04-28 08:58

FUTURE CHAMPION? Rookie Lotus driver Romain Grosjean, third in the Bahrain GP, has the talent to be champion, his boss believes. Image: AFP

LONDON, England - Romain Grosjean's rapid progress in the 2012 F1 GP season has been given added impetus with Lotus team chief Eric Boullier claiming the Frenchman has the talent to be Formula 1 World champion.

Grosjean, 26 in April 2012, was third in the 2012 Bahrain F1 GP, one place behind his vastly more experienced Finnish team mate Finn Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 champion and a veteran of 159 races and 18 wins.

It was Grosjean's first F1 podium and the first for a French driver since 1998.


The Bahrain race, won by Germany's Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull, was only the 11th start of the Franco-Swiss driver's impressive F1 career - but enough to convince Boullier that he has a special driver of great potential: "What impressed me most, more than just the podium finish, was his speed, his racing and that he finished so close to Kimi and only 10 seconds behind Vettel.

"I was not expecting to have both drivers finish so close together. It means he is now capable and ready to compete at the highest level. He has the speed and the talent to be World champion."

Boullier believes his team's strong driver line-up will be the key to Lotus' success. He was impressed by Raikkonen's drive to second but expected more improvement from the 32-year-old Finn as he settled back into F1 after two years of rallying.

The Lotus team would also improve: "There is more to come," Boullier. Kimi has shown many times that he has the pace. When he needed to recover, from a bad qualifying, he did it. It took him very little time to recover after a two-year absence and he showed this weekend that he is there."


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