Romain Grosjean's early exit from the Malaysian Grand Prix in the torrential downpour that hit Sepang International Circuit just minutes after the lights went out for the start of the race left Kimi Raikkonen as Lotus' only remaining representative

The Finn was understandably struggling to remember how it felt to drive an F1 car in wet conditions after two years away in world rally.

"It was my first time on the wet weather Pirellis and I didn't know how the intermediate or wet tyres would react - I had only completed one installation lap on them before," he said. "I just tried to stay on the road and push as much as I felt comfortable with."

He was happy when the rain eased off and the track started to dry, especially when it meant he could switch back to slicks for the final stage of the Malaysian Grand Prix.

"When I changed to the dry tyres it took a couple of laps to get heat into them, and my visor was pretty dirty so seeing the dry line was difficult," he said. "Once I found my way I could push much harder."

Overall, the Finn was just hoping for a more "normal" race weekend, rather than the rollercoaster rides he's had in his two races so far in 2012.

"It was difficult to have another mixed weather weekend. The conditions changed a lot today so it was always a case of adapting and looking for grip, he said. "It would be nice to just have a normal weekend and just see where we are."

"What we would give for a normal race!" agreed the team's technical director, James Allison. "Give us a normal race, with two clean getaways from the good qualifying positions of which we have shown we are capable, and I think we'll be able to collect a good reward."

But overall Raikkonen can be pretty satisfied with his work in Malaysia: qualifying in fifth, then overcoming a five-place grid penalty for an enforced gearbox change to finish the race itself back up in fifth place just behind Mark Webber.

"Overall, we seemed to have a pretty strong package again this weekend, so I'm relatively happy," he said. "A fifth today was okay, but we're always looking for better results."

His boss, team principal Eric Boullier, was more effusive about his star driver's performance: "Kimi had a flawless race. He was very consistent in all conditions and his best lap shows what could have been without his grid penalty.

"I'm sure when we do have a 'standard' weekend - without bad weather, penalty or interruption - we will do very well," he added.


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