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Lotus pays race price for Saturday missteps

Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean lamented the set-up choices and qualifying efforts made by the team on Saturday, which left them at a critical disadvantage during the 2012 Indian GP.
It was another weekend of 'could have beens' for Lotus, with a good car not able to perform to its full potential - according to lead driver Kimi Raikkonen after the 2012 F1 Grand Prix of India in Greater Noida.

"I had a very good car today but I just couldn't do anything with it," said the former world champion. "We put ourselves in that position yesterday with the set-up we chose for qualifying, and we paid the price today."

The problem was that couldn't get the speed he needed out of turn 3 down the DRS zone of the long straight, which meant that he wasn't able to get passed Felipe Massa and spent most of the race staring at the rear wing of the Ferrari instead, eventually following Massa home in seventh place.

"I was not able to pass on the straight. It was quite disappointing but that's how it goes," said Raikkonen. "We had the speed but not in the right place and when you are behind someone there's not much you can do."

Lotus tried to get around the issue by bringing Raikkonen into the pits slightly early with the hopes of getting the jump on Massa that way. It almost worked, with Raikkonen getting ahead of Massa when Ferrari responded and brought him in next lap around; but once again, the lack of straight line speed saw Massa able to pull back in front, and after that there were no more chances for the Finn.

Raikkonen said that he hoped the team would be "a bit more smart" in the next race at Abu Dhabi, and team principal Eric Boullier identified overall qualifying performance as the ongoing Achilles heel of the Lotus performance in 2012.

"Like every race, qualifying is obviously the key to get good points so yesterday's performance defined our race," he said. "We clearly need to work on qualifying and make sure we do a better job. We know our car is strong in the race and I think both drivers today did the job we were expecting. The team did a great job on the pit stop strategy, so we cannot complain."

"Kimi was unable to overtake Felipe and stayed stuck behind. I think we had the pace to be a little bit better and get nearer the front," he continued. "Let's just say we're frustrated that we didn't do a little bit better."

Romain Grosjean was also suffering from the same straight line speed deficiency as Raikkonen, but after starting from 12th place he had a little more scope that his team mate to pick off some low hanging fruit while Raikkonen was stalled at the sharp end.





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.10.2012- Qualifying, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
28.10.2012- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20
28.10.2012- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
28.10.2012- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20
27.07.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
27.07.2014- Race, Crash, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
27.07.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T leads Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33
27.07.2014- Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E22 leads Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9
27.07.2014- Race, Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
27.07.2014- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36 leads Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
27.07.2014- Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36 leads Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T

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blublz

October 28, 2012 9:56 PM

The top three teams have got there acts together, leaving the rest to squabble over positions 7 to 10 of the points, Kimi again emerged at the top of that pile. He's the best driver on the grid who hasnt got Adrian Newey, Ferrari or McLaren working for him.

munish - Unregistered

October 28, 2012 9:38 PM

@ sakkie are you blind?? both kimi and massa trying hard not to cross the zone first, but felipe lock up his tyre, thats why kimi was crossing the zone first. Its not like he didnt aware of that simple facts even a guy like you know!! Save your bashin for others. He push like mad with a top speed of 310km/h while massa had 320km/h under him!



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