F1 » Davide Valsecchi:

Davide Valsecchi column: Lotus one of top teams

Already this season, I think we've shown what we can do well as a team when we put a driver in a good position in qualifying. If the team can give Kimi or Romain a car that will allow them to qualify at the front of the field, they can deliver a strong result.

With that in mind, we were all a bit disappointed in Bahrain when Kimi could only qualify in ninth place and Romain was in eleventh as that wasn't the position we expected to be in at all. The race however was a different matter...

We recovered from qualifying in a fantastic way, and the car was unbelievably quick on race day. Kimi was on a two-stop strategy and it was the right call to make as it allowed him to come through to finish second, but the fact that Romain was able to make three stops and join him on the podium was a sign of how strong the E21 was.

Could they have finished higher if we'd qualified better? Like I said about Kimi's start in China, it is hard to know. There were times in Bahrain when Sebastian Vettel looked unbeatable but, at the same time, Kimi is a great champion and, if he'd been on the front two rows of the grid, then there is no doubt he would have been able to push Vettel all the way, especially at the end of the race when his pace was really strong. When you have a driver like Kimi in the team and he has a car as good as the E21, then it is always possible.

For Romain, the podium finish will come as a big confidence boost for him after a more difficult start to the season. He has driven well this year and has been scoring points, but in the first three races of the year, he just hadn't been in the top three or four. The team was confident that he could deliver a result in Bahrain and, even after qualifying, he was able to have a good race with a strong car under him and he delivered the result.

I'm confident that he will be a lot closer to Kimi for the rest of the year and is going to score a lot of good points for the team. In Bahrain, he drove a perfect race, did some good overtakes and had strong pace which makes me sure that there will be more results like Bahrain to follow for him. It's important for a driver to have a lot of confidence to fight at the front of the field against drivers like Vettel and Alonso, and the podium finish is good for Romain as it gave him that boost.

The double podium means that we'll go back to Europe for the Spanish Grand Prix second in the championship, which shows that we are one of the top teams at the moment, and it was great to see both drivers on the podium in Bahrain. Of course, it would be nice if one of them had been on the top step, but we have one win already and have started the season strongly. We just hope that we can continue our run of form when racing resumes in Barcelona.

Qualifying is going to be key there and, like I've said, if we can put Kimi on the front two rows, then we can expect everything from him as I feel he has the best race pace so far this season. Romain can also challenge right at the front if we give him a car to qualify well.

These next few races are important as they are the first ones in Europe and people are bringing in new parts, so we will see where we stand compared to the other teams, but we are looking forward in a positive way.

We'll be bringing some updates to Barcelona ourselves, but I can't tell you what they are as I don't think the team would be happy if I gave our rivals the chance to find out what we have planned! Let's just say that we are working hard to improve a car that is already very good and we'll see if the hard work pays off when we arrive in Spain.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
21.04.2013- Race, 2nd position Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9 race winner and 3rd position Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
21.04.2013- Race, 2nd position Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
21.04.2013- Race, Celebration, 3rd position Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21
21.04.2013- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E21 and Sergio Perez (MEX) McLaren MP4-28
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
Davide Valsecchi (ITA) Lotus F1 Third Driver. 02.03.2013.
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

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Luke - Unregistered

May 02, 2013 7:38 AM

@the shining light Please go on about how you would tell your boss's that they are wrong on there decisions and your the best thing since sliced bread. I bet if you did that at your 9-5 desk job, they would laugh you out of the building and all your co workers would too.

Firestorm - Unregistered

May 02, 2013 10:41 AM

I can't stop praising the Enstone outfit. I started watching F1 in the early 90s in a time which Williams-Renault was dominating this sport. And in 1994 one Michael Schumacher managed to beat them with a car produced from the Enstone's men and women. Since than I "fell in love" with the Enstone outfit. But Schumacher switched teams in 1996 and I hated him for that, cheering for Alesi, Berger and Fisichella. I even cheered Schumacher archrivals in other teams, as Villeneuve in 1997 in the Williams, and Hakkinen in the McLaren from 1998-2001. But ten years ago I found my idol, again in Enstone. Then he was just 22 years old but I felt he was the one which would end Schumacher's dominance. Since then I am following him and cheering him. He too made the same as Schumacher, switching teams but I wasn't anymore a kid or teenager. I understood his decisions and Schumacher's decisions too. That's a long time ago. I still like a lot the Enstone outfit.

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