Lotus: Frustrated that we didn’t do a little bit better

Oct.28 (Lotus) Kimi Räikkönen took seventh while Romain Grosjean finished ninth in a solid but frustrating Indian Grand Prix where both drivers finished right behind the cars ahead. Kimi maintains third position in the drivers’ championship on 173 points; 54 away from Fernando Alonso ahead and six in front of Mark Webber behind. The team remains fourth in the Constructors’ Championship on 263 points; 43 behind McLaren and an increased 127 in front of Mercedes.

  • Kimi started on soft tyres, pitting on lap 27 for a set of new hards.
  • Romain started on hard tyres, pitting on lap 36 for a set of new softs.

Kimi Räikkönen, P7, E20-05:
“I had a very good car today but I just couldn’t do anything with it as I was not able to pass on the straight. It was quite disappointing but that’s how it goes. We put ourselves in that position yesterday with the set-up we chose for qualifying and we paid the price today. We had the speed but not in the right place and when you are behind someone there’s not much you can do. Hopefully in the next race we can be a bit more smart and use our race speed to take some more championship points.”

Romain Grosjean, P9, E20-03:
“Finishing 9th after starting from 12th is good but we could have done even better. That said, I think it was a very good race from myself, my engineers, and the crew during the pit stops. We did everything we could; everybody was working at 100% but today we were lacking some speed in a straight line which makes it impossible to overtake. I pushed on every lap – it was like 90 minutes of qualifying – and gave everything to get the best performance from the car, so I’m very happy.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal:
“Like every race, qualifying is obviously the key to get good points so yesterday’s performance defined our race. Unfortunately Kimi was unable to overtake Felipe and stayed stuck behind. I think we had the pace to be a little bit better and get nearer the front. We clearly need to work on qualifying and make sure we do a better job. We know our car is strong in the race and I think both drivers today did the job we were expecting. The team did a great job on the pit stop strategy so we cannot complain. Let’s just say we’re frustrated that we didn’t do a little bit better.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
“Both drivers reported that their cars were excellent during the race, which was good. The downside was that Kimi spent the whole race looking at the back of Massa’s car and Romain was held up for around four laps whilst Michael (Schumacher) received blue flags ahead of him. This circuit is pretty difficult to overtake on; even though there’s a very long straight, the DRS zone isn’t actually that long. It was clear we were definitely faster than the cars ahead, just not sufficiently faster to overtake.”

Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader:
“A double points finish is a good result today. We worked very hard with the team to optimise the Coanda exhaust system and we have made some good progress in this area. In this respect it’s been a very positive weekend and we hope to build on this momentum in a week’s time in Abu Dhabi.”

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