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Canada went 'according to plan' for Lotus
11 June 2012
A podium position for Romain Grosjean was the ideal way for the Lotus team to recover from a disappointing struggle at Monaco two weeks ago, and team principal Eric Boullier said it has all been down to team work to make a split approach to tyre usage to Canada pay off even beyond their hopes.
"Today's result is due to very good team work and keeping focused on the task at hand," said Boullier. "The E20 was very well setup for the race, our strategies worked for both cars to finish much higher than they started and both drivers drove superbly."
"Today all went very much to plan," agreed Alan Permane, Director of Trackside Operations for Lotus. "Coming into the race we were fairly confident that we could do a one stop strategy [although] it would be a bit tight on the tyres.
"It was a lot hotter, and we had a fall back of a two stop strategy - which we didn't need," he added. "Romain did everything he needed today and it's a well deserved result."
The jewel of Lotus' Montreal campaign was indeed unquestionably Romain Grosjean claiming second place on the podium after overhauling two of the more experienced championship front runners - Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel - out on the track as tyre degradation became critical.
Where Alonso and Vettel had failed to conserve their Pirelli rubber, Grosjean conspicuously succeeded and sailed past them both despite his tyres only being a couple of laps younger.
"It wasn't easy to manage the second set of tyres for so long, but it worked so I'll happily do that again for another result like today," beamed the Frenchman making his first appearance in F1 in Canada. "It was an incredible race and the one stop strategy worked perfectly for us. It wasn't an easy race, but we wanted to be aggressive to achieve a good result."
While Grosjean had pitted early and ran an extended second stint to the chequered flag, Kimi Raikkonen made a run of 40 laps before coming in for his own pit stop making a shorter second stint.
"For Kimi we used the opposite tyre strategy from Romain by starting him on the soft tyre and it worked for him to finish four places higher than he started in what was a very competitive race," explained Permane.
Getting stuck in traffic stopped Raikkonen from matching his young team mate's success, however.
"I seemed to get stuck behind people a few times," he said. "The DRS zone is not very long, and it's still a difficult battle if the car ahead of you is also using the DRS. We had a chance to do a bit better, but it didn't quite all come together today."
Even so, eighth place means that a few more championship points were picked up - and in a year as tight as this, that's all important. "We scored points again so that's always a good thing, especially this season," Raikkonen agreed.
"It's two very solid drives we've had today," summed up Permane. "We're very happy to bounce back from Monaco in emphatic fashion."
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