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Archive for October 27, 2012

Saturday in India: “We could’ve been third or fourth”

Source: lotusf1team.com

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A setup change between the morning practice session and the afternoon qualifying session didn’t give Kimi the car he wanted for qualifying; P7 on the grid for tomorrow’s Indian Grand Prix was the result.

Q: Do you feel that where you qualified is where Lotus F1 Team are at the moment?

KR: No, I think that we could have been third or fourth. After this morning we made the decision to change the car a little bit, and that was probably the wrong decision. It took all the grip away from the track and actually I’m surprised that we qualified where we did! You have to try these things, but sometimes they don’t work as you want. We often change things a little bit, as there are always areas where the car can be improved. I’m very disappointed I made the decision as we had a very good car this morning and I really think that we should have been on the second row of the grid.

Q: How frustrated are you?

KR: It’s disappointing because yesterday and this morning we were really quick here. Two weeks, or three weeks ago, in Japan, it was pretty normal, but here – because we have the speed – and have had it the whole weekend, so that’s why it’s disappointing and we definitely should have been in a much better position.

Q: Will the set up make a difference in the race?

KR: We cannot touch the car, but perhaps with the high fuel it will feel different and perhaps the circuit will change. Unfortunately, I don’t think the car will magically go back to feeling as good as it was this morning.

Q: How important will tomorrow’s strategy be?

KR: I don’t think anybody has struggled with the tyres, so I think they’ll probably follow each other! To be honest, I don’t know what’s going to happen. We don’t have the straight line speed so we’ll just do the best we can.

Q: Do you feel there is a bit of a step forward from the new upgrades?

KR: I think it depends a bit from circuit to circuit; we had a pretty good race in Korea. We had a good speed there until we got a bit stuck behind other cars and it got a bit cooler so we lost our grip a little bit. We have a few new parts here so perhaps we’ll be slightly more competitive.

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Indian Grand Prix – Qualifying Results: P7

Source: autosport.com | lotusf1team.com | twitter

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Kimi will start in P7 – directly behind closest Championship rival Fernando Alonso – on the grid for tomorrow’s Indian Grand Prix, while a tricky session for Romain saw the Frenchman just miss the cut for Q3 at the Buddh International Circuit this afternoon.

Summary

  • The dry, bright and warm conditions of the morning continued throughout proceedings
  • Both drivers progressed from Q1 on the silver marked hard compound Pirelli tyres
  • Q2 started under yellow flags after Heikki Kovalainen beached his Caterham in the gravel at the very end of Q1
  • Two strong laps in the final moments of Q2 saw Kimi safely through to the pole position contest
  • Mistakes through T7 on consecutive stints put Romain out of contention at the second hurdle
  • Kimi completed just a single run on fresh soft rubber in the final session

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05

Position: Q1 – P3 / Q2 – P8 / Q3 – P7
Best Time: Q1 – 1:26.740 / Q2 – 1:26.101 / Q3 – 1:26.236
Laps Completed: Q1 – 11 / Q2 – 9 / Q3 – 5

Key Moments:
Q1 – 02mins: Fresh hard rubber for an initial assessment run
Q1 – 08mins: Opening stint at full pace; solidly inside the top 10
Q1 – 19mins: Final lap of the first session; rockets up to P3 on hard tyres
Q1 – 20mins: Chequered flag; P3 for the Finn

Q2 – 00mins: Straight out on scrubbed softs; solid first laps
Q2 – 06mins: Returns to base to monitor the field; slips just outside the top 10
Q2 – 12mins: Moves into P8, stays out for a second attempt and improves to make that position secure
Q2 – 15mins: Session ends; P8 for the Finn

Q3 – 05mins: Emerges on fresh softs for a single stint
Q3 – 07mins: First attempt clinches P4
Q3 – 09mins: Fails to improve on second lap
Q3 – 10mins: Final result; P7 for the Finn

Pos  Driver                Team                 Time         Gap   
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault     1m25.283        
 2.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault     1m25.327  + 0.044
 3.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes     1m25.544  + 0.261
 4.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes     1m25.659  + 0.376
 5.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari              1m25.773  + 0.490
 6.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari              1m25.857  + 0.574
 7.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault        1m26.236  + 0.953
 8.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari       1m26.360  + 1.077
 9.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault     1m26.713  + 1.430
10.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes             no time
Q2 cut-off time: 1m26.939s                                   Gap **
11.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault        1m26.136s  + 0.701
12.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercede  1m26.241s  + 0.806
13.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault     1m26.331s  + 0.896
14.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes             1m26.574s  + 1.139
15.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m26.777s  + 1.342
16.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercede  1m26.989s  + 1.554
17.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari       1m27.219s  + 1.784
Q1 cut-off time: 1m27.517s                                 Gap *
18.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari   1m27.525s  + 1.477
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault     1m28.756s  + 2.708
20.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault     1m29.500s  + 3.452
21.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth    1m29.613s  + 3.565
22.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth         1m30.592s  + 4.544
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth         1m30.593s  + 4.545
24.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth    1m30.662s  + 4.614

Quotes:

Kimi Raikkonen – 7th: “We changed the car after this morning’s session and we were quite confident heading into qualifying. Unfortunately, we didn’t seem to have any grip this afternoon so it was much more difficult than we thought. I’m quite disappointed to be starting from seventh as I thought we had a much better car than that.”

@adamcooperf1 #F1 Kimi Raikkonen told BBC that he’d changed the car since the morning and it was a “shit decision.” Not sure if that will be aired…

Video: BBC post-qualifying interview


Video: Kimi talks on the 2012 season

Natalie Pinkham interviews Kimi Raikkonen. Aired live on Sky Sports during pre-qualifying build-up.

 


Indian Grand Prix – Final Practice Results: 5th

Source: autosport.com | lotusf1team.com | twitter

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.

Summary

  • 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

Position: P5
Fastest Lap: 1:26.209
Laps Completed: 22

Key Moments:
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

Raikkonen: Lotus is being out-spent

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.”