Lotus' Alan Permane was clearly hoping for big things from the Hungarian Grand Prix, but still admits that second place was a decent return from Budapest.

Ironically, it wasn't the faster of the two E21 drivers that chased Lewis Hamilton home at the Hungaroring, Romain Grosjean having had his race disrupted by a drive-thru' penalty, but Kimi Raikkonen managed to uphold team honour - and restore a little bruised pride - by taking his sixth podium finish of the season.

The Finn is now back up into second place in the points, and Permane was full of praise for the way in which he overcame early weekend adversity.

Related Articles

"Kimi had a difficult weekend to start off with," the trackside operations director confirmed, "He wasn't quite feeling at home with the tyres straight away and it really took him right through both Friday and Saturday to get comfortable, which was evident in qualifying where he was cast a little bit adrift.

"The race of course was a different matter. In true Kimi style, he worked everything out and came through with a great drive to second place. It really did look ever so easy and controlled from him; managing the tyres beautifully and fending off Sebastian towards the end without ever really looking under threat. He delivered exactly the pace we needed at the appropriate time and was rewarded by returning to second in the drivers' championship, which is very much deserved."

Grosjean, too, deserved more from his weekend, with Permane clearly unhappy with the penalty applied to the Frenchman during the race.

"I feel really sorry for Romain after what appeared to be a very harsh penalty for a fantastic overtaking move on Felipe Massa" he told the team's official website, "Yes, he ran off the track, but he had nowhere else to go. It certainly seemed like good racing to me and, were it not for the drive-thru' penalty, I'm certain we would have had two cars on the podium again.

"We spoke at length with the stewards after the race and ultimately agreed to disagree, but of course their word in final so we learn and move on. Having said that, I would say that the penalty applied for the earlier incident with Jenson [Button] was fair. There was nothing malicious in it - he just made a mistake - but there was contact.

"Aside from that minor blemish, however, I cannot fault Romain's performance all weekend; he was on top of the car and the tyres from the off, qualified exceptionally well and raced superbly bar that one moment. A very good performance all round."

As the F1 season heads into its traditional summer recess, Lotus trails Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari in the teams' standings, although only 25 points separate it from second place.

"Overall, I'd say it's been a pretty good start to the year," Permane reflected, "It's frustrating to sometimes come away from a weekend knowing we haven't quite got the most from the car but, at the past few events, we've brought some successful updates that are working very well.

"Out of ten rounds so far, we've had eight podium finishes - including a victory at the opening round - so it's certainly not been too shabby. Of course, we always want to win more races - we're here to fight for world championships - but second in the drivers' championship and a very close fourth in the constructors' battle - within touching distance of second and with a healthy gap behind - is a good position to be in.

"We're battling with teams that have arguably got a lot more resources at their disposal, so I think we're doing a very good job with what we have here at Enstone."