A hard fought race for Lotus F1 Team at Monza this afternoon saw Kimi take a battling P5 to move up to P3 in the Drivers’ Championship, while stand-in driver Jérôme D’Ambrosio drove a controlled race in his first Grand Prix appearance for almost a year.
Key Moments :
Lap 01 : Clean starts for KR & JDA ; the Finn gains a place, the Belgian maintains position
Lap 02 : KR passed by ALO into the Rettifilo chicane ; back to P7
Lap 06 : JDA gains a place courtesy of a suspension failure for VER
Lap 11 : JDA reports KERS issues ; passed by RIC for P15
Lap 15 : JDA relegated another position by HUL
Lap 16 : KR moves up to P6 as MSC pits ; instantly 0.5s per lap quicker
Lap 17 : KR loses that position almost instantly to PER ; pits for hard tyres straight afterwards and emerges behind JDA
Lap 27 : JDA runs wide on the exit of Lesmo 2 ; tyres starting to fade
Lap 31 : JDA heads back to base for hard rubber
Lap 34 : KR & JDA both promoted one place after BUT retires
Lap 37 : KR loses out to PER into the Rettifilo chicane
Lap 38 : KR down another position ; this time to HUL but regains a place as MSC pits
Lap 42 : KR sets his fastest lap of the race
Lap 48 : JDA gains a spot at VET retires
Lap 51 : JDA up two more as HUL and WEB pull out
Lap 53 : Chequered flag ; KR P5, JDA P13
A clean getaway for both drivers saw Kimi move up one place to P7 while Jérôme maintained his P15 starting slot ; almost taking two cars at the first bend with a daring move before deciding that discretion was the better part of valour. Medium tyres were the weapon of choice for the pair during the first stint, with a switch to the hard option later in the race.
A race of punch and counter punch for the Finn saw some intense battles with Fernando [Alonso], Michael [Schumacher] and Sergio [Perez] as the 2007 World Champion fought hard for every position throughout the race ; another strong performance from the Iceman moves him up to P3 in the Drivers’ Championship.
For Jérôme, it was a race of frustration ; losing his KERS early on after a decent start, the Belgian drove admirably on his debut for the team to finish two positions higher than his starting point. Despite a minor off-track excursion at Lesmo 2, the team’s third driver managed his tyres well to complete a long first stint and bring the E20 safely home in his first race for almost a year.
Classified: Pos Driver Team Time 1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1h19:41.221 2. Perez Sauber-Ferrari + 4.356 3. Alonso Ferrari + 20.594 4. Massa Ferrari + 29.667 5. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 30.881 6. Schumacher Mercedes + 31.259 7. Rosberg Mercedes + 33.550 8. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 41.057 9. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari + 43.898 10. Senna Williams-Renault + 48.144 11. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 48.682 12. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 50.316 13. d'Ambrosio Lotus-Renault + 1:15.861 14. Kovalainen Caterham-Renault + 1 lap 15. Petrov Caterham-Renault + 1 lap 16. Pic Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap 17. Glock Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap 18. De la Rosa HRT-Cosworth + 1 lap 19. Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth + 1 lap 20. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 2 laps 21. Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes + 3 laps 22. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 6 laps Fastest lap: Rosberg, 1:27.239 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Button McLaren-Mercedes 32 Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 8 World Championship standings, round 13: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Alonso 179 1. Red Bull-Renault 272 2. Hamilton 142 2. McLaren-Mercedes 243 3. Raikkonen 141 3. Ferrari 226 4. Vettel 140 4. Lotus-Renault 217 5. Webber 132 5. Mercedes 126 6. Button 101 6. Sauber-Ferrari 100 7. Rosberg 83 7. Force India-Mercedes 63 8. Grosjean 76 8. Williams-Renault 54 9. Perez 65 9. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 12 10. Massa 47 11. Schumacher 43 12. Kobayashi 35 13. Di Resta 32 14. Hulkenberg 31 15. Maldonado 29 16. Senna 25 17. Vergne 8 18. Ricciardo 4
Video : post-race Sky Sports interview with Kimi
Kimi Raikkonen – 5th: “It’s good to go into third position in the Drivers’ Championship but we lost some points to Fernando which is not ideal. It was a difficult weekend as we were too slow in a straight line, making it very difficult to hold off anyone and even with the DRS it was difficult to overtake the cars in front. We did the one stop strategy and the tyres were fine. We came into the race looking for sixth or seventh so fifth is the maximum we could have done here this weekend.”
Jerome D’Ambrosio – 13th: “It was a pretty long and difficult race for me today. After losing my KERS on lap 6 it was always going to be tough as that’s worth about half a second per lap around here. I got a good start and was up fighting with Daniel – Ricciardo) and Nico – Rosberg), but once I lost that extra boost it was impossible to keep up and I dropped back. My last stint on the medium tyres in clean air was pretty good and I didn’t make many mistakes, so maybe with a bit more luck we could have had a slightly better result. My main aim was to finish the race and I’ve achieved that so it’s not so bad overall. It was great to be back in the car and especially with such a fantastic team; I’ve learnt a lot this weekend.”
Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations director: “We weren’t looking forward to coming to Monza as it doesn’t play to the strengths of our car so we’re very happy to come away with fifth place from Kimi. He drove exceptionally well at a circuit where we knew we weren’t going to be super competitive. It’s fantastic that he has moved up into third place in the Drivers’ Championship, and is now just one point off second. Jérôme had one arm tied behind his back with a KERS failure very early in the race and KERS is worth a significant amount of time here. He did a very credible job despite this, and his pace on the medium compound tyre in the second part of the race was pretty good. We now move to a circuit which we feel should really suit our car so we’re looking forward to the flyaways.”
Eric Boullier, Lotus team principal: “From this weekend I don’t think we could have expected better. The key to a good championship position at the end of the season is always scoring points, even when it is a difficult weekend. Kimi delivered exactly as we wanted from him today and moving to third in the standings is a just reward. We are still in contact with those ahead of us in both Championships with seven races to go. Jerome did an amazing job after being thrown in at the deep end. Without his KERS issue I’m pretty sure he could have achieved a points finish. We are optimistic that from Singapore onwards we will be much more competitive due to the circuit layout and updates we have coming, meaning we will be able to score more points in every race.”