Kimi Raikkonen has said that Lotus fans should not be unduly worried at the sight of himself and team-mate Romain Grosjean so far down the Friday practice timesheets in Montreal, insisting that there is more to come from the E20.
Despite both drivers featuring towards the top of the times in the very early part of the morning's 90-minute run-out at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Raikkonen ended both sessions down in 15th place, with Grosjean just one spot better off. However, despite that, the 2007 world champion believes that the team can be a contender for the remainder of the weekend.
“I've been around that kind of position during practice at every race this year and it's always worked out okay!” he noted in an interview with the team's website, “I've said all along, it doesn't matter what position you are in practice as long as you get the work done that you need and learn everything you can before the weekend. At the end of the day, there are no points for practice – you can be top of every test session but, if you can't compete on Sunday, it means nothing.”
Both drivers worked on a base set-up for the Ile Notre Dame circuit, with the introduction of a Montreal-specification rear wing delivering the performance expected of it. With another hour of practice to refine individual set-up preferences to come on Saturday morning, Raikkonen is optimistic.
“It was a bit of a strange day, as we expected there to be rain in the afternoon, so we tried to do all the running we needed in the morning session and used most of our supersoft tyres in the process,” he revealed, “We didn't really lose anything by doing this, as the conditions were pretty much the same in second session, and we achieved what we wanted. We tried a few different things with the setup, and our position in the times did not tell the full story of where we'll be this weekend.
“It was quite cool yesterday and we were probably missing a bit of grip compared to what we'd like, but it's due to get warmer during the rest of the weekend, which should suit us a bit more and also help get the tyres working better. We had no problems with tyre degradation at all during either session - I did over twenty laps with one set and they seemed to be fine - so I think we should be in good shape.”
Team-mate Grosjean, who is sporting another revised helmet design complete with tribute to injured countryman Guillaume Moreau as he makes his Montreal debut this weekend, also felt that valuable information had been learned during the day.
“It's not an easy track, and the weather wasn't what we're expecting for the rest of the weekend, so it's a shame not to get some running in warmer conditions,” the Frenchman commented, “We've spent a lot of time learning how the car behaves here and trying a few different things with the set-up, so we have a good amount of data, but obviously we'll need to work just as hard tomorrow if the temperatures are higher. The car felt good and we did a few laps on the supersoft tyres as well so, overall, it was quite a useful day.”