Raikkonen takes podium to save the day for Lotus

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Spain, Circuit de Catalunyaes

Kimi Räikkönen took his fourth podium finish of the season with second place in the Spanish Grand Prix; moving him to within a tantalising four points of Championship Leader Sebastian Vettel. Romain Grosjean’s race ended after just 8 laps following a suspension failure on the right rear of his car.

Lotus falls to third in the Constructors’ Championship, six points away from Ferrari who attained a double podium finish today.

Kimi Räikkönen, P2, E21-03: “Unfortunately it’s second place again so it’s not time to celebrate too much. The car felt good and we did pretty much all we could today, but we didn’t have the pace to challenge Fernando [Alonso]. I drove to the maximum and it’s good for the championship that Sebastian finished behind us. It’s nice to be on the podium for me and the team; let’s see what we can do in Monaco.”

Romain Grosjean, DNF, E21-02: “I made a poor start but after that I was on the pace and we know we’re able to produce good race strategies, so there was potential for a strong result today. The car was feeling pretty good until we had an issue with the rear suspension which meant I had to return to the pits and retire from the race, which is a great shame. It’s always disappointing for everyone when something like this happens but there’s no-one to blame; it’s just a part of motor racing.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal: “Firstly, we need to investigate what happened to Romain’s car. I feel sorry for him and for the team. Equally however, I’m delighted for the team to achieve another second place with Kimi today. Once again he drove fantastically and we were able to give him a great car with a good strategy. We took points from Sebastian in the Drivers’ Championship, but we have lost out a bit in the Constructors’ Championship. It was a good job by the entire team today.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We’re very happy with a podium. Losing out to Fernando in the first corner was a blow, and being held up behind first Lewis [Hamilton] then Sebastian certainly hampered our progress, but even so I don’t think we quite had the pace to take the win today. Unfortunately for Romain, and through no fault of his own, a rear suspension failure curtailed his race very early on. The cause of this has yet to be determined and we’ve completed many, many kilometres with this suspension configuration, so it’s difficult to pinpoint what might have occurred. We’ll be sending the parts back to Enstone to have a good look at what went wrong and avoid any recurrence.”

Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader: “A very good result for the team to bring Kimi his third consecutive, and fourth podium finish in five races. Managing the tyres was again crucial to the result and is an area we work on very hard with the team, as delivering engine smoothness through the apex and exit of corners can really help the stability of the car; particularly in the heavy braking zones. It is a shame Romain could not go any further, but we have shown that we can be competitive on all types of track this season.”


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