Lotus: On a track which allows overtaking we could have won

29 July, 2012

Jul.29 (Lotus Press Release) Lotus F1 Team scored a fantastic double podium in Budapest this afternoon, with second place for Kimi Räikkönen and third for Romain Grosjean in a searing hot and searing paced Hungarian Grand Prix. The team returns to third position in the Constructors’ Championship, just one point off second. Despite his strong result, Kimi drops to fifth spot in the Driver’s Championship; just one point off today’s race winner Lewis Hamilton who is now fourth in the standings. Romain remains in eighth, equal on points with seventh placed driver Jenson Button.

Both drivers started on scrubbed soft compound Pirelli tyres, changing to another set of scrubbed softs and finishing on new sets of the medium compound tyres.
Romain stopped for tyres on laps 19 and 39. Kimi on laps 20 and 45.

Kimi Räikkönen, P2, E20-05:
“It’s a shame we couldn’t quite get the win but it’s a good result for the team and we’ll keep pushing to make that final step. My start was not too bad but then we had some issues with the KERS and I lost a place to Fernando [Alonso]. When we got it working again we were stuck in the pack so it was a bit frustrating, but once we were in clear air we could push and it looked like we could make up a few places in the second stops. The team said it would be very close with Romain, but it was okay in the end. We managed to catch Lewis [Hamilton] but it was impossible to pass.”

Romain Grosjean, P3, E20-04:
“It’s a good result for the team, but to be honest I’m a bit disappointed. We had a good battle for the lead with Lewis [Hamilton] all through the first two stints, but then I got stuck behind Michael [Schumacher] who didn’t respect the blue flags at all which cost me a lot of time. Because of this I lost a place to Kimi, and at the same time a possible chance to fight for the win. It’s very hard to overtake here; every time I came close to someone in front I would lose a bit of front end grip which made it impossible. Still, that’s racing and we’ve take home a lot of points for the Constructors’ Championship which is a real positive.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal:
“Both cars on the podium end a pretty good weekend for the team. For everyone back at Enstone we must pay credit as they work so hard for results like this, but seldom get to taste the champagne at the track. I’m very happy that Romain came back after a tough weekend in Germany and I’m very happy to see Kimi fighting for the win. Our new approach to qualifying is delivering. We qualified better this weekend and we chased the leader of the race for many laps. On a different track layout which allows overtaking I think we could have won this race.”

James Allison, Technical Director:
“It was an excellent race from both our drivers, from the E20 and from the whole team. We made very strong progress with a good haul of Drivers’ and Constructors’ points today. We’re only just past the halfway mark in the season so it’s not fantasy to think that we’re still in the hunt in both championships. The general trend is of our car getting stronger and I hope that we can press that home in the coming races.”

Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader:
“A fantastic double podium today and very important for the championship. We’ve worked very closely with the chassis team all weekend to deliver the correct engine response into and out of the many corners of the Hungaroring and the package has looked quick all weekend. It’s very positive that we are able to score results on all types of tracks, from the high speed circuits such as Hockenheim to the low average speeds of the Hungaroring.”

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