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Korea Grand Prix – Results: 5th

Source: autosport.com | lotusf1team.com | twitter

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Lotus F1 Team will return to Enstone with a very useful haul of points after Kimi and Romain crossed the line to take P5 / P7 respectively in a hotly contested Korean Grand Prix

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05

Grid: P5
Race: P5
Fastest Lap: 1:42.822 [Lap 51]
Pit Stops: 2 [Lap 13 / Lap 35]

Key Moments:
Lap 01: Defends position into T1, gains a spot on HAM into T2 then loses two positions to HAM and MAS through T4 / T5
Lap 10: Sets the fastest first sector of the race as pace increases
Lap 14: Pits for soft tyres; brand new set
Lap 18: Re-passes PER into T3; the Sauber yet to make a stop
Lap 23: Makes a move on HAM around the outside into T3; run wide by the Brit on exit
Lap 24: Takes HAM at the same turn but this time down the inside; immediately loses place again heading into T4
Lap 26: Attempts the same pass again; can’t match the McLaren for straight line speed
Lap 27: HAM pits; immediately faster in clean air, setting the fastest middle sector of the race on the following lap
Lap 35: Final stop; another set of softs
Lap 55: Chequered flag; retains starting position; P5

Summary:

  • Both drivers started on scrubbed sets of red marked, super soft compound Pirelli tyres; switching to fresh sets of yellow marked softs on two occasions apiece
  • Continued yellow flags as marshals cleared away the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg prevented Kimi from challenging Felipe Massa in the early stages
  • The Finn also lost a lot of time behind Lewis Hamilton; lack of straight line speed owing to the inherent loss of power from the Coandă exhaust system hampering his attempts to overtake and remain in front

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time
 1.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           1h36:28.651
 2.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +     8.200
 3.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +    13.900
 4.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    20.100
 5.  Raikkonen     Lotus-Renault              +    36.700
 6.  Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes       +    45.300
 7.  Grosjean      Lotus-Renault              +    54.800
 8.  Vergne        Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +  1:09.500
 9.  Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +  1:11.700
10.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +  1:19.600
11.  Perez         Sauber-Ferrari             +  1:20.000
12.  Di Resta      Force India-Mercedes       +  1:24.400
13.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +  1:29.200
14.  Maldonado     Williams-Renault           +  1:34.900
15.  Senna         Williams-Renault           +  1:36.900
16.  Petrov        Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
17.  Kovalainen    Caterham-Renault           +     1 lap
18.  Glock         Marussia-Cosworth          +     1 lap
19.  Pic           Marussia-Cosworth          +    2 lap2
20.  Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth               +    2 laps

Fastest lap: Webber, 1:42.037

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                         On lap
De la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth                 17
Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari               17
Rosberg       Mercedes                     2
Button        McLaren-Mercedes             1

World Championship standings, round 16:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Vettel       215        1.  Red Bull-Renault          367
 2.  Alonso       209        2.  Ferrari                   290
 3.  Raikkonen    167        3.  McLaren-Mercedes          284
 4.  Hamilton     153        4.  Lotus-Renault             255
 5.  Webber       152        5.  Mercedes                  136
 6.  Button       131        6.  Sauber-Ferrari            116
 7.  Rosberg       93        7.  Force India-Mercedes       89
 8.  Grosjean      88        8.  Williams-Renault           58
 9.  Massa         81        9.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari         21
10.  Perez         66       
11.  Kobayashi     50       
12.  Hulkenberg    45       
13.  Di Resta      44       
14.  Schumacher    43       
15.  Maldonado     33       
16.  Senna         25       
17.  Vergne        12       
18.  Ricciardo      9

Lotus team quotes:

Kimi Räikkönen – 5th: “I think this was about where we should have been today. The yellow flags at the start didn’t help when we were fighting with Felipe [Massa] but even so we didn’t quite have the speed to match the Red Bulls and Ferraris. We also lost quite a bit of time behind Lewis [Hamilton] – mainly because the new exhaust system means you lose a little bit of power so it was hard to get past – but with a few more practice sessions I’m sure we’ll learn a lot more to be able to improve it. I was pretty much on my own at the end but we had to keep pushing to maintain position and it wasn’t so easy. The gap to Sebastian [Vettel] in the Championship is quite big now so it will be very difficult to catch him, but we’ll keep pushing all the way.”

Romain Grosjean – 7th: “For sure I was a bit nervous starting the race today, but we did a lot of work this week trying to understand a few things and it’s certainly helped. It wasn’t the easiest start; there was contact behind me at turn three and I took evasive action but after that it was quite straight forward. I struggled on the last set of tyres as I had graining straight away meaning the performance was not great during the final stint. Maybe we could have achieved one place better – I think I now know every detail of Force India’s car after spending so much time battling with Nico [Hulkenberg] – but I’m happy to make it to the chequered flag after a good, clean race.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “We knew we would not be fighting for the win here, and fifth for Kimi was the maximum we could have achieved today. We scored a good tally of points in the Constructors’ Championship and although third position is slowly edging away from us with just four races left now we’re not ready to give up. It was good to see Romain drive very sensibly despite all the pressure that is on his shoulders; I think he is learning from this experience and it will only make him a stronger driver. Kimi’s racecraft was impressive as usual; his battle with Lewis [Hamilton] showed real class and he was maybe unlucky not to have been closer to the leading pack after being held up for so long. We will have the Coanda exhausts on both cars in India which should help us in our fight.”

James Allison, Technical Director: “We’ve finished in our starting positions which is solid if ultimately unspectacular. In the first stint Kimi was able to live with the pace of the front runners and had it not been for a costly period spent tucked up behind Lewis [Hamilton] I think he could probably have stayed in touch with the leading group. We were also pleased with Romain’s performance; he achieved what we had asked of him by keeping his nose clean and bringing the car home to score valuable points for the team. We didn’t exactly set the world on fire today, but we can take some comfort from the fact we were more on the pace here than we have been since Hungary.”

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