A cool, damp start to the weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya saw Kimi and Romain end the morning in P8 / P4 respectively; a somewhat mixed field the result of drying conditions out on track.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.252s 20 2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m25.455s + 0.203s 20 3. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m25.667s + 0.415s 25 4. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m26.042s + 0.790s 21 5. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m26.212s + 0.960s 24 6. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m26.374s + 1.122s 19 7. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m26.456s + 1.204s 20 8. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m26.614s + 1.362s 21 9. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.621s + 1.369s 21 10. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m26.755s + 1.503s 16 11. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m26.940s + 1.688s 26 12. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.061s + 1.809s 24 13. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m27.135s + 1.883s 6 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.250s + 1.998s 26 15. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m27.576s + 2.324s 24 16. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m28.600s + 3.348s 19 17. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m28.887s + 3.635s 14 18. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m29.177s + 3.925s 14 19. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m29.457s + 4.205s 11 20. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m29.473s + 4.221s 21 21. Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1m30.314s + 5.062s 12 22. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes no time 6
Kimi Raikkonen says Lotus would be ‘stupid’ not to believe it is knuckling down for a world championship fight this year.
The Finn is just ten points adrift of points leader Sebastian Vettel after the first four races of the year, and its car has proved to be a step forward on last year’s challenger.
Although there is still a view that Red Bull has the out-and-out fastest car, Raikkonen says there is absolutely no reason for Lotus not to set its sights on glory at the end of the campaign.
“It would be stupid to say we are not going to fight for the championship,” he explained.
“The only reason why we are here is to try to win championships and races. Obviously we want to fight for it, but you only have to have a couple of bad races and you might be out of it completely.
“We’ll try to make the maximum out of every weekend and in the long run that’s key to the championship.”
Raikkonen said that Lotus was not concerned about any specific element of its package – with qualifying the most notable area it can do better – and was just focusing on trying to improve in all areas.
“We try to improve everything,” he said. “If we improve the car, we’ll automatically improve our qualifying. It all goes hand in hand.
“There’s no magic where you suddenly do one thing and you’re faster in qualifying. If we make the car faster we improve our pace in all conditions.
“You always want to do better. We still have some things that need looking after, and especially in Malaysia [where it rained] we had some issues that could have been better.
“Right now we’ve put ourselves in a pretty good position so let’s see if we can keep it going and improve.”