Raikkonen puts Lotus on the podium again
Lotus F1 Team secured another podium finish thanks to a searing performance from Kimi Räikkönen to finish second in today’s European Grand Prix. For Romain Grosjean, hopes of another podium were dashed after an alternator failure at two thirds race distance whilst running second.
Kimi and Romain are now sixth and seventh in the Drivers’ Championship. The team remains third in the Constructors’ standings ahead of Ferrari, despite being the 11th team in terms of race laps completed this year. Lotus F1 Team still holds the second highest total in terms of podiums this year (5), behind McLaren (6).
Kimi is now the driver to have contested the greatest number of laps this season, along with Fernando (Alonso) and Nico (Rosberg): 498 in total. Kimi sits third in terms of podiums clinched this year (3), behind Lewis (Hamilton) and Fernando (Alonso) with 4.
- Both drivers started on used sets of soft compound Pirelli tyres.
- Kimi stopped on lap 14 for more used softs as did Romain two laps later.
- Both drivers changed to new medium tyres under the safety car on lap 28.
Kimi Räikkönen, P2, E20-05:
"Second place is okay but the win is what I really wanted. We didn’t quite have the pace for it today. I got a good start but I was blocked by Pastor (Maldonado) at the first right-hander and lost quite a few places which put me a bit behind. We made a good recovery from that position and had quite a hard fight with a few people - overtaking and being overtaken. I couldn’t get the tyres up to temperature quickly enough after the safety car, and I made a small mistake on the re-start lap too. I was able to fight back as we had good race pace again. Today was close but the race win was just out of reach.”
Romain Grosjean, DNF, E20-04:
“Basically the car lost power and switched off. I couldn’t even call my engineer on the radio as the radio was dead. The race was almost perfect up until that point: we had a good start and a good strategy. I don’t think we were that far from our first win. The positives of this weekend are that we battled right at the front and we showed good pace. Sebastian (Vettel) was very strong and I don’t know if we could have caught him. When he had his issue, I was in second place behind Fernando (Alonso) and it was then that I thought we could challenge for the lead because we knew that our tyre degradation was going to be less than his. Unfortunately fate decided otherwise…”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal:
"It’s a good result for the team and for Kimi. Second brings a lot of points, and we also didn’t lose ground on the teams ahead of us in the championship standings. On the other side of the coin, it’s been a disappointing day for Romain as he was in such a good position for at least a podium finish. This is racing, and we will work closely with our partners to ensure we don’t see a failure like this again in the future. Both drivers and the team worked very well this weekend and we have shown that if we achieve a good qualifying position we can fight for the win.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“I’m very happy for the team to be on the podium again with a strong second position from Kimi. I’m sorry for Romain as he was in a good position before what we believe was an alternator failure resulted in a lack of fuel pressure, causing his car to stop. He was right in the fight to be on the podium again so that was unfortunate. Our tyres held up well against the opposition and we did see overtaking once the tyres of other cars dropped away. It was quite a straight-forward call for the final pit stop under the safety car, and we could see that there was enough space between both cars to double stop them. Both drivers did very good jobs today. We know we need to look at getting heat into the tyres quicker after a safety car, but otherwise a very strong weekend.”
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader:
“Second position for Kimi shows the strength of the car in race conditions. We have to apologise to Romain however, who could also have got a very decent result here as well. The alternator failed at about two thirds distance and the car stopped due to no electrical power. We will look into this thoroughly and see what happened in this instance.”