A solid morning for Lotus F1 Team at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, with Kimi and Romain bringing the E20s home well inside the top ten in FP3 as the countdown to qualifying begins.
Key Moments :
00mins : KR immediately out on medium tyres, RG on the hard compound
19mins : KR emerges for a 2nd run after tyre pressure changes ; RG still circulating
35mins : RG out for his next stint ; a few setup tweaks for the Frenchman
37mins : RG goes fastest on the medium rubber
40mins : KR takes to the track once more ; hard tyres this time for the Finn
45mins : KR jumps up into the top 5 despite running the harder compound
54mins : RG joins the action for one final stint on medium rubber
56mins : KR adopts the same strategy ; goes P2 with his final lap
60mins : Chequered flag ; KR P2, RG P8
In stark contrast to Friday’s monsoon-like conditions, clear blue skies and sunshine over the stunning Spa-Francorchamps circuit provided a much more satisfactory setting as the drivers queued up in the pitlane ; every team seeking to make the most of FP3 after losing a significant amount or running time to the weather in yesterday’s sessions.
The Lotus F1 Team pairing joined the line of cars heading straight out on track ; white marked medium compound Pirelli tyres for Kimi and the silver banded hard rubber for Romain.
Reporting a slightly stiff car, the Finn returned to base for tyre pressure changes before re-joining the fray on identical rubber to his initial run ; his French counterpart still circulating on his first stint as the team sought to gather as much data as possible before qualifying.
Eventually, the reigning GP2 Series Champion pitted for minor setup tweaks before emerging once more to briefly set the fastest time after a switch to the medium rubber. His team-mate – adopting an opposing strategy – took to the tarmac on hard tyres and put in an impressive lap to climb into the top five on the theoretically slower rubber.
As the session came to a close, both drivers launched their E20s out of the pits for final assaults on the Circuit de Spa Francorchamps ; Kimi in particular improving significantly to clinch P2 at the flag while Romain brought his car home in a solid P8 to conclude a productive morning for the team.
Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m48.542s 18 2. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m48.683s + 0.141s 21 3. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m48.850s + 0.308s 23 4. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m48.863s + 0.321s 20 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m49.091s + 0.549s 18 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m49.092s + 0.550s 16 7. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m49.164s + 0.622s 21 8. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m49.266s + 0.724s 23 9. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m49.292s + 0.750s 23 10. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m49.382s + 0.840s 22 11. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m49.561s + 1.019s 23 12. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m49.615s + 1.073s 19 13. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m49.621s + 1.079s 26 14. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m49.674s + 1.132s 23 15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m49.710s + 1.168s 21 16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m49.776s + 1.234s 22 17. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m50.027s + 1.485s 20 18. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m52.339s + 3.797s 21 19. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m52.566s + 4.024s 20 20. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m52.630s + 4.088s 18 21. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m52.809s + 4.267s 22 22. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m53.383s + 4.841s 22 23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m53.562s + 5.020s 23 24. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m58.113s + 9.571s 5