16 June 2012
F1 » Valencia will suit us well, says Lotus
The Lotus team - including drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean - go into next weekend's European Grand Prix at Valencia with high hopes of success.
After claiming second place in the Canadian Grand Prix, the Lotus team is predicting that the next race on the street circuit of Valencia will play even more to their strengths.
"I made my F1 début here in 2009 so it brings back good memories," said Romain Grosjean, fresh off his success in Montreal. "It's a circuit I like anyway. There's always a great atmosphere too.
"The track itself it quite interesting; there are a few second/third gear corners, some high speed sectors, heavy braking zones and usually good weather too so on paper it's a circuit that could suit us quite well. Hopefully this will be the case!"
His boss, team principal Eric Boullier, was in agreement. "The track temperature should be high, the surface is more abrasive than Montreal, and there are also more corners per lap. All this could suit the E20 quite well," he said.
"Montreal was one of the circuits I had concerns about in terms of playing to the strengths of the E20, but we ran pretty well there," added technical director James Allison. "Hopefully with Valencia being more in our direction we can produce another good result.
"We're generally looking forward to the summer, but having said that it's not as if we need the temperature to be scorching," he added. "Forty degrees track temperature, as we'd expect to see in Valencia, is not a roasting hot track by any means; it can get a lot warmer than that."
Kimi Raikkonen pointed out that Valencia was definitely the fastest of the four street circuits (Australia, Monaco and Canada) that F1 races on. "Valencia is all about being very consistent. It's so easy to lose time with small mistakes.
"It's not an easy place to overtake and we'll have to see how much help the DRS will be," continued the former world champion. "Qualifying is going to be very, very important again here. Obviously, there will be an advantage to starting on the clean side of the track as the streets are only used as a circuit once each year."
Romain Grosjean said that it was important that the team did press home any advantage they might have in Valencia, in order to keep the momentum of their Montreal success going.
"We have to go into every weekend aiming for a win; approaching a race in any other way is like putting yourself on the back foot from the start," he said. "If we have a strong weekend from the start then I think we are capable of fighting for a podium or even a win."
"I love winning and that's what I'm always trying for," agreed Raikkonen. "I've never won in Valencia, so it's a good target. Last time I raced in Valencia I finished in third after starting from sixth on the grid which was not too bad."
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