Valencia Grand Prix – Results: 2nd for Kimi!

Source: autosport.com | lotusf1team.com | twitter

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A frantic European Grand Prix from the Valencia Street Circuit saw extremes of emotion for Lotus F1 Team, as Kimi produced a fine drive to take his third podium of the season while Romain was deprived of a potential race win by mechanical failure.

Key Moments:

Lap 1: Clean getaway for both drivers; Romain up to P3, Kimi shuffled down to P7 but retakes P6
Lap 2: Romain attacks Lewis Hamilton, Kimi passes Pastor Maldonado but is run wide by the Williams and re-passed
Lap 10: Romain passes Lewis Hamilton with a brave move
Lap 13: Kimi takes Pastor Maldonado with a great pass round the outside
Lap 14: The Finn pits for the first time; soft tyres
Lap 16: The 2007 World Champion is jumped by Fernando Alonso in the stops, Romain pits for softs to shadow Vettel
Lap 17: Romain slicing through traffic, Kimi caught behind slower cars
Lap 19: Kimi passes Mark Webber using DRS down the straight
Lap 20: The Finn then passes Bruno Senna through the kink
Lap 23: Then passes Paul Di Resta in a similar fashion to Mark Webber previously
Lap 26: Fastest lap of the race for Romain
Lap 28: Safety car, Romain and Kimi both pit, Kimi gains as place as LewisHamilton has a slow stop
Lap 34: Safety car in, Fernando Alonso passes Romain, Lewis Hamilton passes Kimi, Sebastian Vettel stops on track promoting both drivers one place
Lap 35: Romain closes on Fernando Alonso, Kimi passes Daniel Ricciardo
Lap 40: Romain retires, loss of alternator
Lap 55: Kimi almost takes Lewis Hamilton at the end of the long straight, then makes it stick two corners later
Lap 60: Kimi crossed the line to take P2

Summary:

A clean start for both drivers saw Kimi move up alongside his team-mate off the line and attempt to pass Pastor Maldonado through the first curve. The Venezuelan however had other ideas; blocking the Finn who subsequently dropped two places. Romain meanwhile took advantage to pass both drivers and move into P3.

Later around the first lap, the 2007 World Champion passes Nico Hulkenberg to reclaim P6 as both E20s show good early pace. Romain meanwhile had started to hound the back of Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren, eventually passing the British driver with a brave move into the chicane following the long straight.

A few laps later, Kimi pulled off a fantastic move around the outside of Pastor Maldonado to move back into his P5 starting position before pulling into the pits for a fresh set of yellow marked soft compound Pirelli tyres on the next lap. Romain dived in for the same rubber shortly afterwards, shadowing leader Sebastian Vettel.

With the order now significantly shuffled, The Finn found himself behind Fernando Alonso but making good progress back through the pack; passing Mark Webber, Bruno Senna and Paul Di Resta in quick succession. Romain was simultaneously was slicing his way through the pack, setting the fastest lap of the race along the way.

Lap 28 saw the safety car deployed, with both Lotus F1 Team drivers diving in for their final stops – making the switch to medium rubber. With Lewis Hamilton suffering a slow wheel change, Kimi found himself promoted a position as the train of cars backed up.

No sooner had the safety car dived in that both the Finn and Frenchman found themselves under pressure; Romain losing a place to Fernando Alonso while Kimi found himself re-passed by Lewis Hamilton. Moments later, leader Sebastian Vettel slowed to a stop promoting both drivers up one position.

Lap 40 saw the end of a fantastic run for Romain, who had driven superbly to keep in touch with Fernando Alonso ahead, with his tyres potentially in a state to allow the Frenchman to challenge the Spaniard for the lead – an alternator failure the cause of his early exit.

This left Kimi as the lone charger to deliver a result for the team, and deliver he did; battling hard with Lewis Hamilton pulling off a strong pass to take P2, where he would eventually finish to claim his third podium of the season; the fifth for the team in 2012.

Pos--Driver-------Team------------------------Time
 1.  Alonso        Ferrari                    1h44:16.449
 2.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +     6.421
 3.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +    12.639
 4.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    13.628
 5.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +    19.993
 6.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +    21.176
 7.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +    22.866
 8.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +    24.653
 9.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +    27.777
10.  Maldonado     Williams-Renault           +    34.653
11.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +    35.961
12.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    37.041
13.  Petrov        Caterham-Renault           +  1:15.871
14.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +  1:34.654
15.  Pic           Marussia-Cosworth          +  1:36.551
16.  Massa         Ferrari                    +     1 lap
17.  De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth               +     1 lap
18.  Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth               +     1 lap
19.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +    2 laps

Fastest lap: Rosberg, 1:42.163

Not classified/retirements: 
Driver-------Team---------------------On lap
Grosjean      Lotus-Renault                41
Vettel        Red Bull-Renault             34
Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari               34
Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari           27
Glock         Marussia-Cosworth            1

World Championship standings, round 8: 
Drivers:---------------------Constructors: 
 1.  Alonso       111        1.  Red Bull-Renault          176
 2.  Webber        91        2.  McLaren-Mercedes          137
 3.  Hamilton      88        3.  Lotus-Renault             126
 4.  Vettel        85        4.  Ferrari                   122
 5.  Rosberg       75        5.  Mercedes                   92
 6.  Raikkonen     73        6.  Sauber-Ferrari             60
 7.  Grosjean      53        7.  Williams-Renault           45
 8.  Button        49        8.  Force India-Mercedes       44
 9.  Perez         39        9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari          6
10.  Maldonado     30       
11.  Di Resta      27       
12.  Kobayashi     21       
13.  Hulkenberg    17       
14.  Schumacher    17       
15.  Senna         15       
16.  Massa         11       
17.  Vergne         4       
18.  Ricciardo      2

Video: Sky Sports post-race interview

Lotus Team Quotes:

Kimi Raikkonen – 2nd: “Second place is okay but the win is what I really wanted. We didn’t quite have the pace for it today. I got a good start but I was blocked by Pastor (Maldonado) at the first right-hander and lost quite a few places which put me a bit behind. We made a good recovery from that position and had quite a hard fight with a few people – overtaking and being overtaken. I couldn’t get the tyres up to temperature quickly enough after the safety car, and I made a small mistake on the re-start lap too. I was able to fight back as we had good race pace again. Today was close but the race win was just out of reach.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “It’s a good result for the team and for Kimi. Second brings a lot of points, and we also didn’t lose ground on the teams ahead of us in the championship standings. On the other side of the coin, it’s been a disappointing day for Romain as he was in such a good position for at least a podium finish. This is racing, and we will work closely with our partners to ensure we don’t see a failure like this again in the future. Both drivers and the team worked very well this weekend and we have shown that if we achieve a good qualifying position we can fight for the win.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “I’m very happy for the team to be on the podium again with a strong second position from Kimi. I’m sorry for Romain as he was in a good position before what we believe was an alternator failure resulted in a lack of fuel pressure, causing his car to stop. He was right in the fight to be on the podium again so that was unfortunate. Our tyres held up well against the opposition and we did see overtaking once the tyres of other cars dropped away. It was quite a straight-forward call for the final pit stop under the safety car, and we could see that there was enough space between both cars to double stop them. Both drivers did very good jobs today. We know we need to look at getting heat into the tyres quicker after a safety car, but otherwise a very strong weekend.”

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15 responses

  1. Gio

    Hai, my name is Gio and I think its the first time I leave a comment. Can I just say what a magnificent job you are doing with the website, and everyday (since ages) that I come here to check on updates. Keep up the good work

    June 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    • Thanks, very kind of you!

      June 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm

  2. I think kimi got what he sort of deserved, had the start been more fair he probably would have ended up 2nd to vettel, coz he had the best start out of everyone when the lights went out but getting blocked by maldanado ruined the early stage of kimi’s race, then with all the crazy incidents and a mature pass on hamilton got to the position i thought he would finish in, but being 2nd to fernando is bitter-sweet

    June 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm

  3. Lars

    Same podium as in the Grand Prix de France 2005.

    June 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

  4. Gio

    Can I just make one constructive criticism regarding Kimi, he lacks rhythm and takes his time to get in strategic positions. He could have won it today, but when he encounters traffic or losses a place, he is not quick to jump back and attack (like for example Hamilton and Alonso). I am a die hard Kimi fan, don’t get me wrong but I think if we can find more rhythm and attack more and more aggressive. He could have at least won Bahrein and Valencia this season

    June 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm

  5. I can understand what you mean Gio, Kimi is also slightly lacklustre under safety car lap i.e when the safety car returns to pits Kimi always seems to be off the front tail :/ But as for rhythm, Kimi is very consistent when it comes to race pace I think.

    June 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    • Amit

      I agree with gio. I am a die hard kimi fan 2.. But somehow he is lacking the aggression tht alonso and hamilton have.. Even look at maldonado .. He was aggressive today altough bit over ambitious nd stupid in the end.. I love kimi who gives all or none. I hope he wins a race soon and hopefully the championship too ;-) he has to be consistently there with points like alonso and webber

      June 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

  6. ronin4444

    i agree with the observation in kimi lacking aggressiveness, and i bet if you tell him he’ll tell you he is pushing hard, but it seems it is not like earlier mclaren days, the only race where kimi is really aggressive it seems is spa, like in 08 n 09, now it is more of a mature approach and not risking tyre deg, late braking etc, the early part of the race kimi took long to get past maldanado n kobayashi, i think he only got them at the pitstops

    June 24, 2012 at 5:09 pm

  7. Javier

    aggressiveness have much relationship with the car that you have…

    June 24, 2012 at 5:40 pm

  8. The reason we don’t see the ‘old’ Kimi of McLaren days is because the circumstances were actually different and suited Kimi better back then. Now, it’s all about saving tyres, there’s more restrictions from rules on engines and what not and a big difference is the qualifying.

    Guys, look at what Kimi said in the press conference.

    Q. (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) Kimi, is it realistic to believe that if you had overtaken Hamilton before that you could attack Alonso?

    KR: I would have overtaken if I could. I was not waiting for the last or second last lap. I just didn’t have the speed. I just had to wait until he ran out of his tyres. Then I got the chance. I tried to get closer and closer but I was not fast enough earlier on, otherwise I would definitely have tried to overtake. But basically I let him past at the restart. After the bridge, I made a mistake and he got past me. It was my own mistake.

    June 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm

  9. ronin4444

    evenstar, will you be attending the silverstone gp? i hope its hot there in England and the rain will stay away

    June 25, 2012 at 11:04 am

  10. Pekka

    Hi guys! Good conversation going on here.

    I think that Kimi really is less aggressive nowdays, than before. But there is really a reason for that. The tyres of course. When Kimi was driving with McLaren, tyres were complitely different and car were much lighter, because they were carrying much less fuel. Now it is a different ball game, with the new tyres and heavier cars. Kimi can’t be aggressive anymore.

    Talking about aggressive driving. Look what happened to Hamilton and Maldonado :) I think KImi has also realized, that this year it is going to be very tight with the championship. He knows that he has to collect points in every race and he simply can’t do same kind of mistakes like Hamilton or Maldonado.

    June 25, 2012 at 8:24 pm

  11. Kimi4WC

    Hi guys,

    Love the website!!! Great work!

    Regarding Kimi not being aggressive, I think Kimi is much more intelligent driver this time around. Though it does seems sometime that he is not aggressive, he is surely is.

    Notice his exceptional wheel to wheel racing this season, he manages to overtake in unusual places at the same time he knows he must finish as high as possible cause that is how you win Championship! :)

    As for his restart – he admitted he did not get enough heat into tyres. But you can’t imagine how furious I was, when I saw Riccardo not going into pits on worn tyres and spoiling restart for Kimi >_<;;

    Anyway, I feel is way more complete driver than he used to be and looking back that he usually have good second part of the season and his learning curve at Lotus is over, he got a real shot at WC. But he must qualify on first two rows all the time.

    June 27, 2012 at 3:52 am

    • Welcome! Nice post :) Kimi has matured a great deal in his two-year absence.

      June 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm

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