No team orders as Lotus allows Raikkonen and Grosjean to duel

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E20. Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday 22 April 2012.

Romain Grosjean fends off Kimi Raikkonen during the race

Apr.23 (GMM) Lotus did not consider employing team orders in order to boost Kimi Raikkonen’s chances of winning the Bahrain grand prix, which saw the Enstone based team claim to podium spots at Sakhir.

Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean celebrate with their crew

Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean celebrate with their crew

The 2007 world champion ultimately finished second and even had a stab at overtaking winner Sebastian Vettel.

And he might have had an ever better chance at challenging the Red Bull had his Lotus team chiefs ordered teammate Romain Grosjean aside at a crucial moment.

“Yeah,” confirmed Finn Raikkonen, “but there are no team orders and we know the rules.

“I tried to get past as quickly as I can but it’s not easy with two similar cars.

“It’s always easy to say afterwards ‘if we had done that’ but in the end we were not fast enough to win and we have to take the second,” he added.

Despite team orders being effectively legal in F1, team boss Eric Boullier confirmed that Lotus does not follow that policy.

“We don’t want to play team orders, so we let them race normally and what happened, happened,” he is quoted by the Mirror.

The most important thing, according to Spanish commentator and former veteran F1 engineer Joan Villadelprat, is that the former Renault team still knows how to win.

“Maybe they don’t have the best car on the grid, because McLaren and Red Bull and Mercedes are probably better, but Lotus have made a car capable of competing with the best in the right circumstances,” he wrote in El Pais newspaper.

Subbed by AJN.

  • Alex

    If Lotus stuck with what they originally planned they would have had a winner.

    Instead of using S/M/S/M, they went for S/S/M/M tyres. This way they gained minimal time on their second set of Softs and waisted on overtaking each other. Other way Kimi would gained on Grosjean slower and then would ripped Vettel apart on new Softs.

    They need more courage in race decision making.

  • Alex

    It’s also strange because they knew that Kimi will have clean air and still they put opted for SOFT after first pit :(

  • fawxx

    imo, lotus’ pit wall need abit of work.

    i still cant forget in china when they screwed kimi in all his pits stops.

  • visz963

    nice duo

  • Tamburello_1994

    A “Nothing-Burger”

    A story pops up like this every year.

  • Barlow

    About team orders, I think a win and a third is way better than a second and a third. It should be, the faster driver goes first, when trying to overtake the race leader. The only time there should be no team orders is when both team drivers are racing for the win. They should just go for it!!

  • Ahmed

    This report is actually false. If you watch the race edit on Formula1.com you will hear clearly the team telling Grosjean, “Kimi is quicker than you. Do not hold him up.”