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Raikkonen: We didn’t get it quite right

Kimi Raikkonen: It wasn't the easiest qualifying session after a weekend which hasn't been the easiest so far either...
Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen has blamed balance problems after he was only to set the ninth quickest time in qualifying for this Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Finn had been quickest on Friday and was also on the pace this morning too, setting the fourth best time in final practice.

However when he came to qualifying, he was unable to reproduce that form, and in the end only a late effort got him through to Q3.

He will now line-up eighth on the grid, gaining a place after Lewis Hamilton's five-place penalty for a gearbox change.

“It wasn't the easiest qualifying session after a weekend which hasn't been the easiest so far either,” said Raikkonen. “Yesterday it was difficult at times to find the balance with the car and I found that again today.

“This morning it felt good and we didn't do too bad in free practice, but we didn't quite get it right this afternoon. My lap wasn't great, but it's a long race so we'll just have to see what we can do tomorrow.”

Lotus trackside operations director, Alan Permane admitted that the team wasn't exactly sure why the Finn had struggled.

“Kimi's session was a bit of a mystery. His second run in Q2 was pretty respectable but it just didn't come together for him in Q3. He's been strong all weekend up until that point, so we'll need to trawl through the data this evening to understand what happened,” Permane added.

Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean went out in Q2 in the sister E21 - 0.060 seconds on the wrong side of the cut-off. He will start eleventh, but still reckons he can get a good result.

“It's obviously disappointing to miss out on Q3 but it's just one of those things,” stated the Frenchman. “There weren't any issues with the car, we just tried to be a little too brave by doing just one run and unfortunately it didn't pay off.

“On the positive side, we've found a lot of performance this weekend compared to the first three races and our pace on the prime tyres in Q1 looked very strong.”

“We qualified in similar positions last year and came away with a double podium, so it's still all to play for,” he concluded.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
20.04.2012- Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
20.04.2012- Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
19.04.2013- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
19.04.2013- Free Practice 2, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
20.04.2012- Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21

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Chris Smith - Unregistered

April 21, 2013 3:25 AM

All drivers have problem with the car sometimes. Just like Alonso had in Austin and was at back of the grid and Ferrari opened massa's gearbox. The only time when you can blame the driver instead of car is when he is consistently slower than his team mate in sunday race. Kimi has been miles ahead of his team mate so blaming him isnt right

Terminator - Unregistered

April 21, 2013 4:42 AM

Kimi clearly has the pace, his Q2 time was good enough to be 6th and in front of Massa. I am certain he simply made a mistake on his only run (like Alonso did, but the latter already had a lap earlier), so maybe the team could have gone for two runs. I think his race pace is similar to that of Vettel and Alonso, but he he will have to clear the FI's and Massa really quickly if he has to fight for the win.



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