October 14th, 2012 (F1plus Team).- Once again, Lotus team did not have enough on their cars to claim another podium, let alone a victory.
First, Red Bull and Ferrari were clearly superior, something that it was easy to see during the entire hour an a half of racing. All of their drivers; Vettel, Webber, Alonso and Massa drove with zero problems and they did not even poised a fight between them.
This was different for the Lotus men, who at times had to put of good fights to overtake and hold their positions. First it was Kimi who a long bout with the always competitive Hamilton. At the end the Finn prevailed, who lost a little bit of time.
"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 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– 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.” Raikkonen said.
As for Grosjean, he admitted that he was nervous at the start -which is probably true-, but he managed to made a clean one and stayed out trouble. Like his teammate, Romain had an interest track fight, in his case with Hulkenberg who fought hard to protect his position.
“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 straightforward.
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 – but I’m happy to make it to the chequered flag after a good, clean race.”
Overall, it was a good result for the team, but not so great when there are still possibilities of a championship for Raikkonen who sits third in standings.