October 28th, 2012 (F1plus Team).- Once again, the Indian Grand Prix left that recurring feeling of a Lotus E20 with no enough to make that "extra" step that would make it one in its class.
Qualifying keeps being a problem for Kimi who has started up front zero times this season, with his best a third for the Belgian GP. Two weeks ago at Korea the Finnish driver started and ended in the same position (5th) and this time, things were similar just two slots lower.
Räikkönen race was basically a monologue behind Massa's Ferrari, which had the advantage in the first sector straights, relegating the Finn to a fruitless battle for sixth.
He Said: “I had a very good car today but I just couldn’t do anything with it as I was not able to pass on the straight. It was quite disappointing but that’s how it goes.
We put ourselves in that position yesterday with the set-up we chose for qualifying and we paid the price today. We had the speed but not in the right place and when you are behind someone there’s not much you can do.
Raikkonen is still third in the championship but said he had not much hope of making up the 67-point deficit to Sebastian Vettel.
"Hopefully in the next race we can be a bit more smart and use our race speed to take some more Championship points.” Added Raikkonen.
More on the bright side, Romain Grosjean had a remarkable day as he improved three positions to end ninth, with a more entertaining race for him.
“Finishing 9th after starting from 12th is good but we could have done even better. That said, I think it was a very good race from my engineers, the crew, and myself during the pit stops.
We did everything we could; everybody was working at 100% but today we were lacking some speed in a straight line which makes it impossible to overtake. I pushed on every lap - it was like 90 minutes of qualifying - and gave everything to get the best performance from the car, so I’m very happy.” Said Grosjean.
There is no doubt that Lotus has a competitive car and a duo of skillful drivers, even though that elusive victory looks farther away than ever in this season, returning to the podium is very feasible.
Regardless, fixing the qualifying issue has to be the number one priority for the team, something management understands.
“Like every race, qualifying is obviously the key to get good points so yesterday’s performance defined our race."
We clearly need to work on qualifying and make sure we do a better job. We know our car is strong in the race and I think both drivers today did the job we were expecting." Eric Boullier, Team Principal commented.