Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen has played down the significance of his off in second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Raikkonen was eighth in the first session this morning, but improved in afternoon to end the day fourth overall - 0.088 seconds off Nico Rosberg in third and 0.209 seconds up on team-mate Romain Grosjean in fifth, even though he had to sit out the final third of FP2, after he spun off and beached his E21 at Turn 7.

"The car felt pretty good today. Of course, there are some areas we can improve but I'm quite happy with the progress we made," Kimi said.

"I spun in FP2 so we did miss some of the long run laps we would have got this afternoon. I was on a fast run and the wind changed, which can affect the car sometimes.

"At least we didn't do any damage so the crew won't have any extra work. It's not a big drama as we know the track pretty well. We have a few changes for tomorrow so let's see what happens."

Grosjean, who was actually 0.185 seconds up on Raikkonen in FP1, meanwhile was not so pleased: "Finding the right balance to get the car working well around here is quite tricky and the tyres are not making that any easier, so we've got some work to do overnight to make it a little easier to handle," he explained.

"There's definitely some more performance to be found, and it's always better to be near the top of the times even if you've not got things quite right, so we'll see what we can do tomorrow."

"We have struggled a bit for consistency today, with both drivers having off-track excursions," summarised Lotus trackside operations director, Alan Permane. "Romain in particular experienced brake locking, which is something we can counter with some mapping work.

"We lost a reasonable amount of long run data collection as a result of Kimi's spin, meaning Romain's programme was modified slightly and we might look at doing some race simulation work during tomorrow's practice. On the softer tyre we look competitive and I think we can expect to qualify well. Our long run pace also looks good so it's an encouraging start."



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