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Kimi Raikkonen came home a solid sixth, maintaining his third position in the Drivers' Championship, whilst Romain Grosjean finished a classified 19th after retiring from 15th position on track after an eventful Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. The team remains fourth in the Constructors' Championship with increased gaps of 103 points to Mercedes behind and 24 to Ferrari ahead.
Both drivers started on Pirelli's soft compound tyres. Kimi pitted for his first set of hard compound tyres on lap 13, then his second on lap 30. Romain pitted for hard compound tyres and a new front wing on lap 1, served a ten second stop and go penalty on lap 7, then took another set of hards on lap 22.
Kimi Raikkonen: "Sixth wasn't the result we were hoping for but unfortunately we didn't have the speed to do better today. The start was very tight ; I was alongside Fernando [Alonso] straight away and he kept moving further across until there was nowhere left go. We lost some time there and our second pit stop wasn't the best, so overall it was quite a difficult race. The good thing is we still managed to score points to stay in touch in the championship."
Romain Grosjean: "Ever since I came back in Singapore my priority has been to be very cautious at the start, and I was watching Sergio [Perez] on my left to make sure there was no contact with him. There was quite a big speed difference between me and Mark [Webber] as I came into the first corner which caught me by surprise and we collided. It was a stupid mistake. Mark [Webber] came to see me after the race and was obviously not happy, but I apologised and we have to move on. We'll sit down and look at things again before the next race to see what we can do to improve these situations. In the last few laps of the race the tyres were at the end of their life and we were out of the points, so it made sense to retire. Not a good day, but we have to look ahead to Korea and a chance to make amends."
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "Obviously, it hasn't gone as well as we expected. We could see in Singapore, when Romain was back on track, that the other drivers were putting some pressure on him at the start. Here it was a little bit easier, but he made a small mistake misjudging his pace compared with Mark, which was a bit higher. I think he has made some progress, but it's unfortunate that this has happened again in these circumstances. With Kimi, the car's pace was not as good as we were expecting. Starting seventh we had higher hopes, but if you don't have the pace completely it doesn't work well. We couldn't put everything together in order to make his race more successful and gain more places."
James Allison, Technical Director: "The best thing that can be said about this event is that we scored some more points, but it's certainly not been the weekend we hoped for on Friday, nor the one we expected after Saturday. We're disappointed that Kimi had to race whilst looking in his mirrors rather than attacking those ahead and we need to face the fact that we need more performance from the E20 if we are to move up in the Constructors' Championship rather than resting on our very secure fourth position. It would have been much better for us to have scored points with both cars but sadly a first lap incident for Romain put paid to that."
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader: "The combination of corners and wide open throttle time at Suzuka makes the circuit a challenge for the engines so we introduced new units on both cars to maximise power and torque available. We had a trouble-free event on this front and will re-use the same engines in Korea. Kimi has not had the best of weekends so getting eight more points today is very positive and keeps him third in the championship. We look forward to Korea in just a week's time."
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