Lotus: We simply weren’t fast enough

7 September, 2013

Kimi Räikkönen qualified in eleventh and Romain Grosjean thirteenth after a disappointing qualifying session at Monza for tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix.

After demonstrating strong pace yesterday, the team was unable to unlock any more speed today as it faced the unique challenge of the low-downforce Autodromo Nazionale Monza.

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03:

  • Q: P11, 1:24.610.
  • FP3: P10, 1:25.120

“We were just not fast enough today. We have been suffering a bit all weekend so far and it was the same today. It just isn’t our kind of circuit and layout where we have to run small wings. The car behaved pretty okay but we just didn’t have the downforce to go fast through the corners with our low drag package. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit better but I’m not expecting any big surprises. In any case we will do the best we can.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-05:

  • Q: P13, 1:24.848.
  • FP3: P14, 1:25.499

“Today was difficult for us as we had no grip. I was quite surprised at how it went in free practice yesterday, but today was simply a different story. The aerodynamic configuration for Monza isn’t an easy one and it didn’t go the way we would have liked it to go. I hope that we find grip levels for tomorrow and are able to deliver as good a race as we can.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:

How was qualifying for the team?
It wasn’t great and there’s no secret that we couldn’t find the pace we needed from the car here at Monza. It was quite a hit not to make it into the top ten, but Monza is such a distinct challenge that there is often a shake-up in the order of which cars perform well here, which is what we’ve seen today. Eleventh and thirteenth is not where we want to be, and there’s no real solace in seeing another race winning car between us on the grid.

Why did we have pace yesterday but not today?
Where you end on the timesheets on Friday does not mean you’ll end up in the same place on Saturday due to the different programmes being run by each team and a variety of other factors. We weren’t able to unlock more speed out of our car today whereas our rivals did. The lap times are very close here, even with it being a fast track. We simply weren’t fast enough.

What are the strategic permutations tomorrow?
For a dry race we can start on whichever Pirelli compound we choose, as we are not constrained to those we used for our qualifying lap as those in the top ten are constrained. However, the weather forecast does highlight potential for rain which changes everything. We will be looking to the sky tomorrow as eagerly as our rivals. (Lotus F1)

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