MONZA, September 8th, 2013 (F1Plus / Rosie Baillie) - Despite only picking up two points at the Italian Grand Prix, Lotus remain positive and both drivers said they felt they did the best they could considering they both started the race outside the top 10 following a disappointing qualifying session on Saturday.
“We did a pretty good job of that and the car felt good, surprisingly good given where we were on Saturday. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do after the start to the race we had,” Kimi Raikkonen said.
The Finn was forced to stop on lap one for a new front wing after being caught up in first corner action with Sergio Perez. This saw him drop to the back of the field and spend the remainder of the race working his way up the grid.
Teammate Romain Grosjean echoed Raikkonen’s comments and hoped the team would be able to return to the performance they experienced in Hungary where Raikkonen finished second and Grosjean finished sixth.
“I think we did the best we could here in Monza and I hope that for Singapore we can get back to the level of performance that we had in Budapest,” said Grosjean.
The Frenchman’s race wasn’t aided by an issue in the pits which saw him come out further down the field than expected.
“Unfortunately we had a poor pit stop where we had an electronic problem and the light didn’t turn to green, so we lost a few seconds there. I think we could have come out in front of the two McLarens and the Toro Rosso, which would have made things a bit easier for a stronger result,” he explained.
Team Principal Eric Boullier also remained positive, saying he was impressed by the E21’s pace and his drivers' performance.
“The positive from this weekend is that we showed fantastic race pace and both drivers drove exceptionally well. Romain withstood great pressure and performed great overtaking moves on both McLarens. Kimi fought back from a first lap incident in a superb display of his talents.”
Lotus Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane felt the car had the pace to have finished much higher had they qualified better on Saturday.
“We actually had good race pace today and if you compare Kimi and Sebastian Vettel’s races, after Kimi’s first stop we only lost a second to Seb and we gained four seconds on Fernando [Alonso]. Seb won the race and Fernando finished second, so that gives an illustration of what could have been,” Permane explained.
For the second race in a row Raikkonen was unable to score points, meaning his gap to championship leader Sebastian Vettel has now increased to 88 points.