After a strong build-up to qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix, Lotus found their form disrupted by the turbulence of the weather around the Ardennes, leaving Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen with work to do after qualifying seventh and eighth respectively.
On the face of it, the recent upturn in form for Grosjean appeared to continue at the eleventh round of F1 2013 when he outqualified team mate Raikkonen for just the third time this year. Despite this, the Frenchman admitted that he was disappointed with his grid position after having his sights set higher following practice.
“It wasn't an easy session today with the changing weather and while it's good to be in the top ten, it wasn't exactly what we were hoping for. It was a big challenge to know what condition the track was in, to make the right decisions at the right time and to adjust the speed according to the weather, admitted the 27-year-old.
“At the end of qualifying you needed to be on the on track at the right time," he continued. "I'll work with the engineers later to assess why Kimi was a bit quicker in the dry, where we can improve in the wet, and options in terms of strategy. I'll give my best in the race tomorrow.”
Team mate Kimi Raikkonen is still very much in the fight for the world championship, but qualifying eighth appears to have dented his chances of reducing his 38-point-deficit to the current leader of the driver's standings, Sebastian Vettel.
The Finn had been optimistic prior to the rain falling at a circuit where he has been victorious four times in the past, and he refused to be too downhearted when looking ahead to the race.
“When it was dry in the second qualifying session we were fastest, so if it's dry tomorrow we should be okay for the race; even though we will not start from a great position. The last qualifying session was wet and our car does not give its best in these types of conditions.”
“Any lap which came right at the end of the session would have helped, but if it stayed dry it would have helped more. Tomorrow is another day so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.”
By Philip Barclay