As a rare dose of sunshine flooded the Silverstone circuit during FP3 for the British Grand Prix this morning, Kimi and Romain showed good pace to bring their E20s home inside the top 5 in the last session before qualifying begins this afternoon.
A dry and bright start at Silverstone this morning was a welcome sight for the team, as the final practice session for the British Grand Prix got underway.
Kimi and Romain joined a lengthy queue at the end of the pit lane as the green flags were waved; every team seemingly keen to condense as much running as possible into the ninety minute session having lost the majority of Friday testing to inclement weather conditions.
Matching sets of yellow marked soft compound Pirelli tyres adorned the E20s as both drivers took to the track for their opening stints, racking up the laps in the early stages with further rain predicted to interrupt running at the mid stage.
With the halfway point approaching, it was in fact a different issue which brought the session to a halt; the Marussia of Charles Pic stopping out on track and subsequently bringing out the red flags.
Kimi charged out of the garage for his second run
No sooner had running resumed than Kimi charged out of the garage for his second run, immediately jumping up to P2 with his first attempt on the silver marked hard compound Pirelli tyres.
Romain joined his team-mate on track a matter of minutes later; his initial effort moving the Frenchman up to P4 – just above his team mate on the same rubber – before setting the fastest time of the session shortly afterwards.
With just over ten minutes remaining, both E20s were circulating for their final runs; both using the soft tyres to end the session and running strongly in the top five.
As the final runners crossed the line to bring proceedings to a halt for lunch, Kimi found himself in P5 with a best time of 1:32.454 from 25 laps, while Romain’s best effort of 1:32.358 from 25 laps saw him end the morning in P3.
Pos--Driver---------------Team------------------Time---------------Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m32.167s 21 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.320s + 0.153s 20 3. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m32.358s + 0.191s 25 4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m32.420s + 0.253s 21 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m32.454s + 0.287s 25 6. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.477s + 0.310s 20 7. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m32.622s + 0.455s 21 8. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.940s + 0.773s 19 9. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m33.046s + 0.879s 20 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m33.150s + 0.983s 19 11. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m33.267s + 1.100s 25 12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m33.367s + 1.200s 20 13. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m33.398s + 1.231s 24 14. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m33.462s + 1.295s 24 15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m33.673s + 1.506s 22 16. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m33.674s + 1.507s 21 17. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m33.707s + 1.540s 21 18. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m33.733s + 1.566s 15 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m34.298s + 2.131s 18 20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m34.781s + 2.614s 20 21. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m36.605s + 4.438s 18 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m37.060s + 4.893s 14 23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m37.269s + 5.102s 23 24. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m37.429s + 5.262s 17
Kimi Raikkonen says it is a case of ‘good, but could do better’ when assessing his performance in the first half of his comeback season on the eve of the ninth round of this year’s campaign at Silverstone.
The 2007 world champion, who has finished on the podium three times since he came back to Formula 1 following a two-year spell in the WRC, says that while he is pleased with the results he has achieved so far with Lotus, he is also frustrated by the knowledge that he could have done even better.
“You always prefer to be higher up and if you would have told me before the season that I would be on the podium a few times and I had this many points I probably would say that yes that’s great,” he said.
“But then of course you get there and you know that with certain things we could have done better and we would probably have had better results so then you are always a bit disappointed.
“But no I am still happy and as a team we are in a pretty good position, but still we could have done better, so it is just the fact that we haven’t achieved what we probably should have achieved.”
Raikkonen added that he is still working towards a better feeling in the E20 and admitted that disrupted race weekends are hindering him from achieving that goal.
“If you make a small error somewhere or have a small issue at a certain point of the weekend then it can easily cost you a lot of time,” he said. “It looks like a small thing but it might make a big difference in the end.
“It is difficult to always get the perfect weekend, it’s not the easiest thing.
“We have to still find on the set-up side something that we are 100 per cent happy with, and we are looking for it and we have some ideas. But every time when it’s wet like this we have to wait and it’s not so simple to say okay we’ll try this and this. The weather can change or you have a small issue and then you cannot do anything.
“We just have to be patient and try to get as good a result as we can and try to just work on the small details that we have to improve.”