Raikkonen finishes 5th in difficult race for Lotus
Kimi Räikkönen scored a strong fifth place in the Italian Grand Prix to move him into third position in the Drivers’ Championship after a hot and fast-paced race in Monza. Jérôme D’Ambrosio made an impressive race debut for the team, finishing in thirteenth place despite having no KERS for most of the race.
Kimi started on used medium compound Pirelli tyres, stopping on lap 17 for new hards.
Jérôme started on new hard compound tyres, stopping on lap 27 for new mediums.
Jérôme’s stop at 2.44 seconds was the team’s fastest-ever race pit stop.
Kimi Räikkönen, P5, E20-05:
"It’s good to go into third position in the Drivers’ Championship but we lost some points to Fernando [Alonso] which is not ideal. It was a difficult weekend as we were too slow in a straight line, making it very difficult to hold off anyone and even with the DRS it was difficult to overtake the cars in front. We did the one stop strategy and the tyres were fine. We came into the race looking for sixth or seventh so fifth is the maximum we could have done here this weekend.”
Jérôme D’Ambrosio, P13, E20-03:
“It was a pretty long and difficult race for me today. After losing my KERS on lap 6 it was always going to be tough as that’s worth about half a second per lap around here. I got a good start and was up fighting with Daniel [Ricciardo] and Nico [Rosberg], but once I lost that extra boost it was impossible to keep up and I dropped back. My last stint on the medium tyres in clean air was pretty good and I didn’t make many mistakes, so maybe with a bit more luck we could have had a slightly better result. My main aim was to finish the race and I’ve achieved that so it’s not so bad overall. It was great to be back in the car and especially with such a fantastic team ; I’ve learnt a lot this weekend.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal:
"From this weekend I don’t think we could have expected better. The key to a good championship position at the end of the season is always scoring points, even when it is a difficult weekend. Kimi delivered exactly as we wanted from him today and moving to third in the standings is a just reward. We are still in contact with those ahead of us in both Championships with seven races to go. Jérôme did an amazing job after being thrown in at the deep end. Without his KERS issue I’m pretty sure he could have achieved a points finish. We are optimistic that from Singapore onwards we will be much more competitive due to the circuit layout and updates we have coming, meaning we will be able to score more points in every race.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“We weren’t looking forward to coming to Monza as it doesn’t play to the strengths of our car so we’re very happy to come away with fifth place from Kimi. He drove exceptionally well at a circuit where we knew we weren’t going to be super competitive. It’s fantastic that he has moved up into third place in the Drivers’ Championship, and is now just one point off second. Jérôme had one arm tied behind his back with a KERS failure very early in the race and KERS is worth a significant amount of time here. He did a very credible job despite this, and his pace on the medium compound tyre in the second part of the race was pretty good. We now move to a circuit which we feel should really suit our car so we’re looking forward to the fly-aways.”
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader:
“A very difficult race for us. Kimi did a fantastic job to finish in fifth ; he was flat out for the entire race. Jérôme finished his first race for the team, also performing well, despite having a KERS problem early on. We have to look at both of these issues and improve for Singapore.”