Natalie Pinkham interviews Kimi Raikkonen. Aired live on Sky Sports during pre-qualifying build-up.
A busy morning for Lotus F1 Team saw Kimi and take P5/P10 respectively in the final Free Practice session before qualifying gets underway here at the Buddh International Circuit.
- Warm and bright conditions remained throughout proceedings
- Romain ran the latest variation of front wing for the E20, as used by Kimi during Friday Practice
- After struggling for pace on the hard tyre yesterday, the team focused on extracting more race pace from the rubber during this morning’s session
- Romain spent his opening runs dialling out turn-in understeer with a good degree of success
- The silver marked hard and yellow marked soft were used on each car during the session
- Both drivers ended the session with practice pit stops
Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05
Fastest Lap: 1:26.209
Laps Completed: 22
00mins: Straight out on news hard tyres for an install lap
14mins: First man to set a time; remains at the top until the appearance of the Red Bull cars
29mins: Out on scrubbed hards for race setup analysis
49mins: Final blast on fresh soft rubber
54mins: Big moment through the complex; recovers well
60mins: Session ends; P5 for the Finn
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m25.842s 20 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.034s + 0.192s 17 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m26.108s + 0.266s 18 4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.151s + 0.309s 21 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m26.209s + 0.367s 22 6. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m26.214s + 0.372s 24 7. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m26.521s + 0.679s 15 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m26.531s + 0.689s 21 9. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m26.652s + 0.810s 21 10. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m26.664s + 0.822s 21 11. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m26.691s + 0.849s 13 12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m27.140s + 1.298s 18 13. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.162s + 1.320s 21 14. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m27.193s + 1.351s 22 15. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m27.229s + 1.387s 21 16. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m27.374s + 1.532s 21 17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m27.711s + 1.869s 20 18. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.983s + 2.141s 19 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m29.035s + 3.193s 20 20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m29.237s + 3.395s 20 21. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m29.617s + 3.775s 20 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m30.298s + 4.456s 20 23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m30.824s + 4.982s 22 24. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m30.873s + 5.031s 22
Kimi Raikkonen says it is no surprise that Lotus has not been able to match the development rate of the bigger teams – because it simply does not have the resources to keep throwing money at upgrades.
Lotus enjoyed a strong first half of the campaign, but found itself unable to keep that form up since the summer break and has fallen away from the pace of Red Bull and Ferrari in recent races.
Raikkonen thinks his team has still done a great job this year though, and believes the way the season has panned out for Lotus is simple to explain.
“We’ve done developments but the others have probably done more,” he said, when asked by AUTOSPORT for his explanation as to why the second part of the season has not been as good as the first.
“For sure the others are bigger than us. They have more money to put in and more people to make things. Money makes a big difference in this sport.
“We tried and we haven’t done badly, that’s for sure, comparing to other teams – and especially those big teams that we’re fighting against.
“It’s disappointing that we’re not there, but we have to be realistic. We’ve still done a pretty good job overall.”
Raikkonen thinks it important that Lotus keeps pushing for developments with its car so it can deliver an even better design in 2013.
“We’ll still try to improve this car because everything that we do now is going to also help for next year,” he said. “It’s not like it’s wasting time.
“Those things [developments] will probably come with the new car anyway so if we can put them on the circuit now and learn something then maybe we can make them better.
“We’ll keep pushing and working hard but it’s generally not easy to find half a second. There’s no easy trick. You have to find small, small improvements.”