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Raikkonen: It was a tough race
25 March 2013
Kimi Raikkonen has admitted his Lotus just didn't perform as expected in Malaysia, although he is hopeful they can get back to the front again, providing they can 'get the car back to how it was in Australia' where he won.
Raikkonen began the weekend at the Sepang International Circuit in fine form and was quickest in Friday practice.
However after that he struggled and in qualifying could do no better than seventh. He then found himself demoted to tenth on the grid, after he was judged to have impeded Nico Rosberg in Q3, and combined with a tardy start, had his work cut out to get a decent result.
Although he did manage to score and took seventh to keep his run of consecutive points finishes intact, the race was a real contrast to that just seven days earlier.
“Although the car felt very good on Friday, yesterday and today have been pretty difficult,” Raikkonen admitted. “Since Saturday morning it has not been behaving as we expected for some reason, especially in the wet where we really struggled for grip.
“It was a tough race and I lost part of my front wing at the start which didn't help, but at least we scored a few points which is better than coming away with nothing.
“If we can get the car back to how it was in Australia then I'm sure we'll be right at the front again.”
Lotus team principal, Eric Boullier meanwhile also had mixed feelings, although with Romain Grosjean finishing in sixth in the sister car, the Enstone-based outfit does maintain second position in the Constructors' Championship, with third placed Ferrari on an equal 40 points.
“It's not been the best day for us, but when you take into account our qualifying positions and the difficult start for both drivers I think the points we take for sixth and seventh is a solid result,” Boullier remarked.
“Unfortunately with the conditions today we didn't see the full potential of the car, and the time we lost at the start was always going to be difficult to catch up. To finish within a reasonable distance of the leaders was a good effort from both drivers and also the team in terms of our strategy. With a normal weekend I'm sure we can expect some stronger results."
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