Spanish Grand Prix – Qualifying Results: 5th

Source: autosport.com | lotusf1team.com | twitter |

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A season best performance overall for Lotus F1 Team during this afternoon’s qualifying sessions for the Spanish Grand Prix, as both Kimi and Romain brought their E20’s home in the top five during a pole position shootout which was as frantic as it was unpredictable.

Similar conditions to those of Free Practice 2 yesterday afternoon provided a significant challenge for the drivers as Qualifying 1 got underway at 14:00 local time in Barcelona. Soaring temperatures created a noticeable lack of mechanical grip, as most competitors struggled with understeer in particular.

The first flying laps of the afternoon for Lotus F1 Team saw Romain immediately flying out of the traps, taking P1 with his first attempt on the silver marked hard compound Pirelli tyres. With Kimi was somewhat more conservative in P5.

With five minutes to go, both drivers emerged once more on the yellow marked soft tyres. Kimi surged straight up to P2, only to be immediately knocked out of his position as his team-mate went quickest. The Finn ended the session in P7, with the Frenchman flying high in P2.

Qualifying 2 saw the team opt for a single run apiece for Kimi and Romain. With six minutes to go, the 2007 Formula 1 World Champion lead the reigning GP2 Champion out of the pits. An empty track greeted the pair, with matching sets of fresh soft tyres for both.

Once more, the Finn jumped straight to the sharp end of the grid, shortly to be displaced by the Frenchman. Both drivers easily sailed into the pole position shootout in P3 (Romain) and P5 (Kimi).

The final session kept the entire paddock guessing right until the last minute. Both Lotus F1 Team drivers left it late to make a single attempt on the soft tyres, The Finn and the Frenchman momentarily sitting in P3 and P2 respectively; just shy of Fernando Alonso.

A frenzy of last gasp attempts saw Kimi eventually finish the day in P5 on the grid for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix, with a fastest time of 1:22.487. Romain’s best effort of 1:22.424 will see him start in P4; another fine performance for the young Frenchman.

With the team’s best qualifying session of the season so far and good long run pace demonstrated in Friday Practice, the team are feeling positive for the race tomorrow.

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-03

  • Position: Q1 – P7 / Q2 – P5 / Q3 – P5
  • Best Time: Q1 – 1:23.406 / Q2 – 1:22.856 / Q3 – 1:22.487
  • Laps Completed: Q1 – 7 / Q2 – 3 / Q3 – 3

Romain Grosjean, E20-04

  • Position: Q1 – P2 / Q2 – P3 / Q3 – P4
  • Best Time: Q1 – 1:23.248 / Q2 – 1:22.667 / Q3 – 1:22.424
  • Laps Completed: Q1 – 8 / Q2 – 3 / Q3 – 3
Pos--Driver---------------Team-----------------Time-----------Gap 
 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m21.707s
 2.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m22.285s
 3.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m22.302s
 4.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m22.424s
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m22.487s
 6.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m22.533s
 7.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             1m23.005s
 8.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     No time
 9.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             No time
10.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       No time
Q2 cut-off time: 1m22.904s Gap **
11.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m22.944s   +  0.839
12.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m22.977s   +  0.872
13.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes 1m23.125s   +  1.020
14.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes 1m23.177s   +  1.072
15.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m23.265s   +  1.160
16.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m23.442s   +  1.337
17.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m23.444s   +  1.339
Q1 cut-off time: 1m24.362s Gap *
18.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault     1m24.981s   + 2.398
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault     1m25.277s   + 2.694
20.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault     1m25.507s   + 2.924
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth    1m26.582s   + 3.999
22.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth    1m27.032s   + 4.449
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth         1m27.555s   + 4.972
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth         1m31.122s   + 8.539

Quotes:

Kimi Raikkonen – 9th: “I think we had a chance to be in the top three but we’ve been fighting with the set-up quite a bit today. We changed the car for qualifying and actually it was the correct call in the end; it was just a few small mistakes which cost me some time on my Q3 lap. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow in the race; the car has usually been better on Sunday than it has been on Saturday, so if that’s the case tomorrow we’ll be pretty happy. A lot of small details will decide the race and the tyres are one aspect of course. Our long runs were promising yesterday, so we’re not looking too bad. Hopefully we get a reasonable start and we can be up at the right end and go for it. I think we’ve got a good car and that’s the main thing.”

Video:

6 thoughts on “Spanish Grand Prix – Qualifying Results: 5th

  1. This situation has a potential for even better results for Kimi and Lotus than Bahrain.

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  2. Yes, Lotus in good position. But the competition is much more fierce in Spain :/ Lotus’ straight line speed is very fast, so hopefully on the straight we will see Kimi jump a few places.

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  3. All kimi has to do is get a great start and jump atleast 2 drivers….though Lotus have the best straight line speed, its pretty difficult overtaking in spain…and i’m just scared of this Maldonado…just dnt want kimi to get involved with him…he’s pretty aggressive…
    hopefully we see our angrybird in the top 3 tomorrow…keep flyin Kimi…

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  4. Yeah, hope for top 3, there’s good straight line speed, start from clean side. The start will IMO decide the result, but strategy can also make big difference, however I doubt they will do anything aggressive this time..

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  5. Guys, I was talking about expecations for winning tomorow. Seriously… 🙂

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