Kimi Raikkonen bounced back from his problems in practice to qualify in the top-ten for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Finn had already missed out on valuable track time on Friday, but he had to sit out all of final practice this morning when his engine blew-up early in the session. Despite that though, and despite only a minimum amount of set-up time, he made it through to the top-ten shoot-out with relative ease, eventually posting the ninth best time. He will, however, start one place higher up in his Lotus, after Williams driver Pastor Maldonado picked up a ten-place grid penalty.
“Of course we expect to do better but it's been a tricky weekend,” said Kimi. “If I could have just done a few laps this morning it would have made things much easier, but after the engine problem I couldn't complete any running and with the different temperatures from yesterday it was hard to know what would be the best setup.
“So I guess it was good to get into Q3 after all the issues; it means we got something out of today when it could have been even worse.”
Lotus trackside operations engineer Alan Permane meanwhile was impressed with how Raikkonen did and he is confident the Finn will do even better in the race, the final round in the 2012 F1 World Championship.
“Kimi has suffered a terrible weekend of unreliability with an ignition coil fault in FP1 followed by a blown engine in FP3. His only full session came in FP2 on Friday where we saw significantly higher temperatures, so to put the car inside the top ten was a great effort,” Permane added.
“What's more, he only completed a single run in Q3 at a time when the track was not at its quickest, so we believe there will be even more to come from him in the race.
“We're confident in the pace of our car both in wet and dry trim and have opted for a setup which keeps the potential weather variations in mind.
“It's looking like being an intermediate start, but you never know what can happen here and there have been some spectacular storms in the past at Interlagos. Either way, we're prepared for whatever the skies may throw at us,” Permane concluded.