Lotus: It’s clear we have a car which has the pace to win races

Apr.22 (Lotus Press Release) Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean danced their way through the Bahrain desert for a double-podium performance in today’s Bahrain Grand Prix. Kimi took advantage of saved sets of new tyres from qualifying to vault from eleventh to second, whilst Romain scored an equally impressive seventh to third.

Both cars started on the yellow-marked soft Pirelli P-Zero.
Romain changed to a set on mediums on lap 10, then made two further stops for more mediums on laps 25 and 40.
Kimi pitted for a set of softs on lap 11, then fresh sets of mediums on laps 24 and 39.

Drivers’ Championship:
Kimi Räikkönen, P7 (34 Points)
Romain Grosjean, P8 (23 Points)

Constructors’ Championship:
Lotus F1 Team, P3 (57 Points)

Kimi Räikkönen, P2, E20-03
Fastest Lap, 1:37.116 (Lap 41)

“It’s a great result for the team and we deserve it as everyone has been working very hard. To be honest, I’m slightly disappointed we didn’t take the win because we had the pace. I only had one chance to overtake Sebastian (Vettel) and unfortunately I chose the wrong side to try and get past. If I hadn’t made a small mistake at the start and allowed Felipe (Massa) to get through then maybe it would have been a different story, as we spent quite a lot of time fighting with him. At the end of the day, it’s good to have both cars on the podium, especially after last race which didn’t go to plan, but I honestly think we could have taken the victory today.”

Romain Grosjean, P3, E20-04
Fastest Lap, 1:36.928 (Lap 42)

“It’s a great feeling to get my first podium, and I’m really proud of the whole team for doing an incredible job today. We’ve known all season how quick the car can be, but with such a tight field any small mistakes can make a huge difference. Today I think we got everything right, and we’ve finally been able to prove how competitive we are. Last week I was aiming for my first points, this week I was hoping for top five, but here we are on the podium so who knows where we can go from here! We can be very happy with what we’ve achieved today; hopefully we can now head to the Mugello test and find that last bit of to push us right to the top.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal

“It was a great team performance today and I’m delighted for everyone, both here in the paddock and back at Enstone. The first three races were very frustrating, as we knew we were capable of a result like this. Until now, small details have hindered our performance, so it’s almost a relief to finally show what we are capable of. We took a bit of a gamble on strategy and I’m pleased to say it paid off. Both drivers put in a fantastic performance, and to have two cars not just on the podium but so closely matched all through the race demonstrates what a strong line-up we have. I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved today.”

Alan Permane, Director of Trackside Operations

“We’ve been saying over the last few races that podium finishes were on their way and today we’ve proved that. To come from eleventh to score a strong second, challenging for the win was an awesome performance from Kimi and shows that the E20 is a superb race car. For Romain to match Kimi’s pace and finish just seven seconds behind him despite having fewer new tyres is a comparably impressive performance. Our race strategy calls today were not as tricky as we’ve seen in other races. We knew we had to make three stops and it became clear as the race went on that our main question was could we beat Sebastian (Vettel)? We gave it a good go. It wasn’t a perfect performance this weekend – we weren’t happy with our performance on the soft tyres in qualifying – but it’s clear we have a car which has the pace to win races. ”

Lotus F1.
  • Lauda Fan

    “Lotus: It’s clear we have a car which has the pace to win races”

    …especially when BOTH McLarens have disastrous pit stops and one of them DNFs on the last lap! ;-)

  • Alex

    Both McLarens were passed by both Lotuses before disastrous pit stops!!

    Watch out for Lotus 1-2 in Spain and total domination by Kimi in Monaco!

    Amazing season!

  • Alex

    oops

  • Alex

    @Lauda Fan

    You were on commercial break when both Lotuses fly past both McLarens before disastrous pit stops? :)

  • zack

    overall lotus have good performance,both driver shown their high quality..however, what i can see from Australia to Bahrain lotus still struggle to find the best strategy,race engineer must look on that..lotus also have to look the performance from pit crews..too slow..

  • Alex

    @zack

    My thoughts exactly. I wonder if they some what nervous of the situation (being so quick) they find them self and it affects their judgment.

    Seems like they lack that cold blooded killer decision making during race that could have gained them many more points over last four races.

  • Andy – London

    Maybe some would argue it’s far too early in the season for team orders, I think it was plain for all to see that Kimi shouldn’t have to fight his way past Roman. After all, Kimi was let through it the end, but once his tyres were shot. He would have been at least 10 seconds up on his final time.
    Kimi knows it’s a win that got away. Renault are celebrating a double podium but surely everything was in place for a dream win for Kimi, and a 1st and 3rd for the team. When a car is clearly that much quicker and a win is possible, why throw it away? Grosjean would have got 15 points and 3rd anyhow.

  • Alex

    @Andy

    I agree with you, I think this is exactly what Lotus is missing right now and what they need to improve if they want to fight for championship. Sharp thinking during race.

  • vx-2

    Rejoice for Kimi!!! I want to see him win and hear him on the radio on the celebration lap…. Today, he was like, “meh, I could’ve won, thanked the team for the hardwork”…. so cool!