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Archive for October 7, 2012

Sunday in Japan: “Anything can happen”

Source: lotusf1team.com

Having just about managed to avoid the first lap fracas of today’s Japanese Grand Prix, Kimi went on to claim a hard fought P6 on a tough weekend all round for the team at Suzuka. Here the Iceman gives us his view on the day’s events…

Q: Kimi; was P6 about what you expected from today’s race or did you feel more was possible?

KR: Sixth wasn’t the result we were hoping for. We lost some time with all the incidents on the first lap and also had a problem in the second pit stop, so overall it was quite a difficult race. Unfortunately even considering those things we didn’t have the speed to do better today. Maybe we could have stayed ahead of Lewis [Hamilton] if things had gone a bit differently but there was no real chance to be higher than fifth.

Q: The start looked quite frantic for you; how did you see it from inside the car?

KR: The first corner was very tight. I got an ok start and was on the left alongside Fernando [Alonso] straight away. He kept moving further across until there was nowhere left for me to go and his wheel touched my front wing. We had dome damage and I think he got a puncture so it was not a great start to the race but there was not a lot I could do differently.

Q: What can you take away from this race heading to Korea?

KR: The good thing is we still managed to score points to stay in touch in the championship. For sure we have some work to do if we want to catch the people in front, but there are still five races left and anything can happen. Let’s see what we can do next weekend…

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Japanese Grand Prix – Results: 6th

Source: autosport.com | lotusf1team.com | twitter

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P6 for Kimi and a late retirement for Romain in today’s Japanese Grand Prix capped off a difficult weekend for the team at Suzuka ; the main positive being that the Finn retains P3 in the Driver’s Championship with 5 races to go.

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05

Grid : P7
Race : P6
Fastest Lap : 1:37.886 [Lap 49]
Pit Stops : 2 [Lap 13 / Lap 30]

Key Moments :
Lap 01 : Good start, minor contact with ALO into T1, slight front wing damage, gains 2 places by avoiding T2 incidents
Lap 03 : Defends well from KOB into T1 at re-start
Lap 13 : Lap times dropping off sharply ; pits for hard tyres
Lap 15 : Gains 2 places in 1 lap ; past VER into T1 & KOV into T13
Lap 30 : Second stop ; second set of hard rubber
Lap 32 : Loses a place to HAM into T1
Lap 49 : Sets personal best time
Lap 53 : Chequered flag ; finishes P6

Summary:

  • Kimi was promoted to P7 and Romain to P4 on the grid after a penalty for Jenson Button
  • Both drivers started the race on scrubbed sets of the yellow marked soft compound Pirelli tyre, making two stops apiece for hard rubber during the race
  • The first lap saw a number of incidents, resulting in a two lap safety car period following the retirements of Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg
  • Both Kimi and Romain incurred damage to their front wings as a result of contact at the start with Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber respectively – the latter requiring a new nose as a result
  • Romain received a ten second stop-and-go penalty as a result of his collision
  • The only other minor interruption to proceedings came on lap nineteen, when Sergio Perez beached his Sauber in the gravel at turn six bringing out the yellow flags

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           1h28:56.242
 2.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    20.639
 3.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +    24.538
 4.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +    25.098
 5.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +    46.490
 6.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +    50.424
 7.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +    51.159
 8.  Maldonado     Williams-Renault           +    52.364
 9.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    54.675
10.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +  1:06.919
11.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +  1:07.769
12.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +  1:23.400
13.  Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +  1:28.600
14.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +  1:28.700
15.  Grosjean      Lotus-Renault              +     1 lap
16.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
17.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap
18.  Petrov        Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
19.  De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth               +     1 lap

Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:35.774

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                         On lap
Pic           Marussia-Cosworth            39
Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth                 34
Perez         Sauber-Ferrari               19
Alonso        Ferrari                      1
Rosberg       Mercedes                     1

World Championship standings, round 15:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Alonso       194        1.  Red Bull-Renault          325
 2.  Vettel       190        2.  McLaren-Mercedes          283
 3.  Raikkonen    157        3.  Ferrari                   263
 4.  Hamilton     152        4.  Lotus-Renault             239
 5.  Webber       135        5.  Mercedes                  136
 6.  Button       131        6.  Sauber-Ferrari            115
 7.  Rosberg       93        7.  Force India-Mercedes       81
 8.  Grosjean      82        8.  Williams-Renault           58
 9.  Massa         69        9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         15
10.  Perez         65       
11.  Kobayashi     50       
12.  Di Resta      44       
13.  Schumacher    43       
14.  Hulkenberg    37       
15.  Maldonado     33       
16.  Senna         25       
17.  Vergne         8       
18.  Ricciardo      7

Lotus team quotes:

Kimi Räikkönen – 6th: “Sixth wasn’t the result we were hoping for but unfortunately we didn’t have the speed to do better today. The start was very tight ; I was alongside Fernando [Alonso] straight away and he kept moving further across until there was nowhere left go. We lost some time there and our second pit stop wasn’t the best, so overall it was quite a difficult race. The good thing is we still managed to score points to stay in touch in the championship.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “Obviously, it hasn’t gone as well as we expected. We could see in Singapore, when Romain was back on track, that the other drivers were putting some pressure on him at the start. Here it was a little bit easier, but he made a small mistake misjudging his pace compared with Mark, which was a bit higher. I think he has made some progress, but it’s unfortunate that this has happened again in these circumstances. With Kimi, the car’s pace was not as good as we were expecting. Starting seventh we had higher hopes, but if you don’t have the pace completely it doesn’t work well. We couldn’t put everything together in order to make his race more successful and gain more places.”

James Allison, Technical Director: “The best thing that can be said about this event is that we scored some more points, but it’s certainly not been the weekend we hoped for on Friday, nor the one we expected after Saturday. We’re disappointed that Kimi had to race whilst looking in his mirrors rather than attacking those ahead and we need to face the fact that we need more performance from the E20 if we are to move up in the Constructors’ Championship rather than resting on our very secure fourth position. It would have been much better for us to have scored points with both cars but sadly a first lap incident for Romain put paid to that.”

Video:

Sky Sports interview with Kimi, Fernando Alonso, race start live, Kimi VS Lewis Hamilton, pre-race Kimi on grid: