Lotus F1 Team secured fourth position in the 2012 FIA Formula 1 Constructors' World Championship with over twice the points tally of nearest rival Mercedes, with Kimi Raikkonen taking third in the Drivers' Championship after an eventful end to the twenty-race season in Brazil. Kimi finished in tenth place after an incident-filled mixed weather event, whilst Romain Grosjean exited the race in a 9.5g impact accident after leaving the track on lap 6.
Kimi started on scrubbed medium compound tyres, pitting on lap 5 for intermediates, lap 19 for fresh mediums and finally lap 53 for a second set of intermediates. Romain started on hard compound tyres. Kimi has scored points in all but one race this season, and is the only driver to finish every Grand Prix.
Kimi Raikkonen: "It was a busy race and we didn't have the pace we wanted all the time. There was certainly a lot going on. I went off at the last corner on lap fifty-two as I couldn't see well with my visor being dirty and fogged up. Where I went off you can get back on the track by going through the support race pit lane, but you have to go through a gate. I know this as I did the same thing in 2001 and the gate was open that year. Somebody closed it this time. Next year I'll make sure it's open again."
Romain Grosjean: "I'm a little bit shaken but otherwise not too bad. Everything was nicely under control at the start of the race then it all ended very suddenly at turn eleven. It was a strange one; I could see it was raining a bit more so I was taking it even easier than on the lap before, then suddenly the car just went from underneath me and that was it. I've not had much luck this weekend and that's definitely not the way I wanted to end the season, but overall it's been a good year and hopefully there will be many better days to come."
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "That was obviously a very dramatic race to end the season; not the one we would have expected and not really the one we would have wanted on track. The conclusion of the championship is good; fourth was our target and we've achieved that by a considerable margin. On top of that we've been fighting with the leading teams right to the end of the year. For Kimi to take third in the Drivers' Championship is a really great achievement after being away for two years and a testament not only to the car we gave him, but to the team for their support. We scored our first win with the Lotus name and achieved a good number of podiums over the year, so overall it's been a very good season. I can only thank everyone at Enstone and everyone at Renault; I'm very proud to be a part of this effort. Our progress is very promising for next year. With the continuity and stability we have I'm sure we'll be fighting for podiums again in 2013.
In terms of the bigger picture, we must of course send our congratulations to Sebastian Vettel who joins the sport's greats as a triple World Champion. A mention also for the fine efforts of another former Enstone champion - Fernando Alonso - who drove superbly all season. Finally, we say a very fond farewell to another of the finest drivers around in Michael Schumacher. It's always a big thing when a multiple champion leaves the sport, and Michael has achieved great things over many years, including two Drivers' Championships for Enstone. We wish him all the very best for the future"
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: "It was an incident-packed race which ended early for Romain who spun off very early in the damp conditions. Kimi had a very tricky race including a couple of spins and problems with his visor, so not the ideal day and a tough weekend overall. Looking at the season, we're happy with P3 in the Drivers' Championship for Kimi and P4 in the Constructors' Championship for the team. Our target was fourth and we've easily achieved that, but perhaps even more encouraging is that at one stage it looked as if we could challenge for third or maybe even higher. I'm sure Kimi would have rather won the championship but it was certainly a very respectable comeback."
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader: "What a hard race today, in every sense of the word. Kimi's points give him third in the championship, plus make him the only driver to finish every race this season. It also shows the ongoing durability and performance of the Viry-Enstone partnership. It's a very positive way to end what has been a very successful season, with one win and 303 points to our credit."
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