Following the Japanese Grand Prix, Lotus' Alan Permane has revealed that Kimi Raikkonen's qualifying struggles of late are mostly due to the new tyres that were introduced in Germany.
"Kimi does not like the behavior of the car's front end at the moment. He does not like how it fits into curves, because it is not responsive enough for him. But when we try to change it, then we lose the back, "admitted the engineer of the team in Enstone.
He also said it's not that much of a worry as his race pace does not appear to be influenced.
"In race trim, however, Kimi is comfortable with the tires. In Singapore and Korea he started back and still secured two podiums, but it certainly can not always happen that way. You can not always count on the Safety Car to bunch up the field. It is essential to qualify later and this is the problem we are trying to solve with him."
Ever since Raikkonen joined Lotus, the team's main worry has been to make the front end responsive enough, initially with several modifications to the car's steering system. The tyres have now made things even more complicated, resulting in two Friday crashes for the Finn in the two most recent races.