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Abu Dhabi GP: Qualifying notes - Lotus

NEWS STORY
03/11/2012

A tightly fought qualifying session at the Yas Marina Circuit saw Kimi Raikkonen net a fine fifth position on the grid whilst Romain Grosjean took tenth for tomorrow's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen: "Qualifying was good. The car hasn't felt fantastic all weekend but we decided we weren't going to change the car's set-up from where it was for the last race. It was the right choice because in the end the circuit came to us in qualifying where the car was the best it has been so far here. We'll give tomorrow our best shot; Let's see if we can make a good start to get right behind the Red Bulls, and then we'll see what happens after that."

Romain Grosjean: "It wasn't a great qualifying lap for me today, and P10 is not where we want to be on the grid. In the last run in Q3 I had no grip so wasn't able to find more pace. The car had felt fine before that and we looked good through the other qualifying sessions. It just means I have some more work to do in the race and I think there's more to come from me and the car."

How do you assess today's qualifying performance?
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: "We are happy with our achievements today, however we could have possibly managed even more with both drivers. Fifth on the grid is very good for Kimi and means we should be well placed for tomorrow. Romain was looking set for a strong lap too, matching Kimi for the first two sectors, but he lost half a second on the final sector; we'll be looking at what went wrong there."

Where do you think the car should be on race pace?
AP: "As has been the trend this season, we're confident in terms of where our race pace should be relative to our opposition. We completed a promising long run on Friday afternoon; we have no problems or issues with tyre wear, warm-up, or anything like that so there are no reasons why we should not have a good evening tomorrow."

Do we fear being stuck behind other cars as in the Indian Grand Prix?
AP: "We've qualified further up the order with Kimi which should certainly help his race. Overtaking is slightly easier here, however Romain will have his work cut out. That said, he completed some nice overtaking moves last time out, so let's hope for the same here."

Check out our Qualifying gallery, here.

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