We were just not fast enough, that was Kimi Raikkonen's no-nonsense assessment after he failed to progress to the final phase of qualifying on Saturday at Monza.
Raikkonen will now start the Italian Grand Prix from eleventh place and the sixth row, alongside fellow championship hopeful, Lewis Hamilton - not the result he wanted, given he trails Sebastian Vettel by 63 points in the title race.
“We were just not fast enough today. We have been suffering a bit all weekend so far and it was the same today,” said Raikkonen.
“It just isn't our kind of circuit and layout where we have to run small wings. The car behaved pretty okay but we just didn't have the downforce to go fast through the corners with our low drag package. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit better but I'm not expecting any big surprises. In any case we will do the best we can,” added the Lotus driver.
Team-mate Romain Grosjean also struggled and he too went out in Q2. The Frenchman will start 13th in the sister E21.
“Today was difficult for us as we had no grip. I was quite surprised at how it went in free practice yesterday [when we finished up third and fourth overall], but today was simply a different story,” Grosjean stated. “The aerodynamic configuration for Monza isn't an easy one and it didn't go the way we would have liked it to go. I hope that we find grip levels for tomorrow and are able to deliver as good a race as we can.”
Lotus trackside operations director, Alan Permane meanwhile shared the frustration of his two drivers.
“Qualifying wasn't great and there's no secret that we couldn't find the pace we needed from the car here at Monza. It was quite a hit not to make it into the top ten, but Monza is such a distinct challenge that there is often a shake-up in the order of which cars perform well here, which is what we've seen today,” Permane summarised.
“Eleventh and thirteenth is not where we want to be, and there's no real solace in seeing another race winning car between us on the grid [either]. We just weren't able to unlock more speed out of our car today whereas our rivals did...”