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.