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Italian Grand Prix: First lap incidents hamper Lotus

A disastrous start for Kimi Raikkonen in Monza meant a second non-scoring race in a row for the Finn - and likely an end to his title hopes in 2013.
It hadn't exactly been an idea lead-in to the Italian Grand Prix when neither Lotus managed to get through to Q3 in Saturday afternoon qualifying at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, but Kimi Raikkonen still had high hopes of improving on his 11th place on the grid and finishing in the points on race day.

Those hopes were effectively shattered by a first corner collision with the rear end of Sergio Perez' McLaren, which forced Raikkonen to pit lane for a replacement front wing putting him over half a minute down from the leaders.

"When I lost the front wing I had to come in and change to a new one meaning an extra pit stop which we hadn't planned," explained Raikkonen. "It's not just the time in the pits, but you have to work your way through the field afterwards.

"We did a pretty good job of that and the car felt good, surprisingly good given where we were on Saturday. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do after the start to the race we had," he sighed.

At one point he was as high up as fifth place, but the inevitable second stop bumped him back down to 14th from which he could only manage to recover back to his starting position, although there was a spirited battle with Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton that was one of the highlights of the latter half of the race for the fans and what Lotus F1 team manager Eric Boullier described as "a superb display of his talents."

Meanwhile Raikkonen's team mate Romain Grosjean survived his own first lap incident - being rear-ended by the Force India of Paul di Resta in the run down tot he second chicane - and went on to claim the team's only point of the race by finishing in the top ten after starting from 13th place on the grid.

"We got the best result we could have done having started in P13," said Grosjean. "Unfortunately we had a poor pit stop where we had an electronic problem and the light didn't turn to green, so we lost a few seconds there.

"I think we could have come out in front of the two McLarens and the Toro Rosso, which would have made things a bit easier for a stronger result."

Grosjean was the second Lotus to come under fire from Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages of the race - and in the Frenchman's case, he was able to repulse the Mercedes and hold on to eighth place until the finish line.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
07.09.2013, Qualifying Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E213
07.09.2013- Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E213
06.09.2013- Free Practice 1, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
06.09.2013- Free Practice 1, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E21
John Watson driving the McLaren MP4B at the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, Las Vegas
Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
2014 FIA European F3 champion Esteban Ocon is to test with Lotus F1
12.10.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, the start
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Vitaly Mutko (RUS) Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in the press conference after the race
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 celebrates Manufactor title of Mercedes with the team
12.10.2014- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
12.10.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014-  Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 with a fan

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