Lotus: We had the pace to get both cars further up the grid
6 October, 2012
Oct.6 (Lotus) Romain Grosjean will start the Japanese Grand Prix from P5 on the grid with Kimi Räikkönen in P8 after Saturday’s qualifying session at Suzuka. Both cars progressed easily through to the top 10 Q3 session, however Kimi span on his fast lap.
Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05. Q : P8, 1:32.208. FP3 : P12, 1:33.224:
“I spun. I was on a good lap and I was pushing – maybe a little too hard – and lost the rear. It’s a shame as the car feels the best it has all weekend. If the car’s good tomorrow we should be able to move forwards. Let’s see what happens.”
Romain Grosjean, E20-03. Q : P5, 1:31.898. FP3 : P7 1:33.008:
“Yesterday we had two tricky sessions, so to have both cars in Q3 is a good recovery. We knew it would be very tight in qualifying and I think we could maybe have been one place higher with a cleaner run through the first sector, but the leaders were too quick today. We’re lacking a little bit of downforce at the moment, but with a few minor adjustments overnight and the right strategy I think we can take home a good haul of points tomorrow.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director :
“Not bad but we could have done better.”
How do you assess today’s qualifying performance ?
“We had the pace to get both cars further up the grid. Kimi spun off on a new set of tyres which hampered his progress and Romain didn’t have a great first sector on his qualifying lap so he could have maybe been a place higher, but overall, it’s been a reasonable weekend so far.”
How are we looking for the race ?
“We’re comfortable with the E20’s performance on a full fuel load and over long runs so we’re looking forward to the race and hopeful that we can gain positions from where we start. Suzuka is pretty demanding on the tyres and we have shown well in this area previously, so there’s certainly potential.”
How do the different tyre compounds perform here ?
“We know these tyres pretty well. For qualifying there was a reasonable difference in pace, but for the race it’s likely to be more even.”
Subbed by AJN.