Belgian GP: Qualifying notes - Lotus


Kimi Raikkonen will start from P3 on the grid with Romain Grosjean in P8 for tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Kimi qualified in fourth position but gains a place thanks to a penalty for Pastor Maldonado. Romain set the ninth fastest time but also gains a place courtesy of a penalty for Mark Webber.

Kimi Raikkonen: "It wasn't the easiest of qualifying sessions. The car is okay but it doesn't look like we have the speed that some others have and we were certainly not quick enough for pole today. The race is a different story. On the grid we're in front of of the guys who are ahead of us in the championship so we'll try to score more points than them."

Romain Grosjean: "That wasn't my best qualifying ever and I struggled a little bit. I had traffic in Q1 and I didn't feel as confident with the car as I would like. You can see how close it was in the top ten so I suffered from not having everything exactly as I wanted, especially on the softer compound. Missing yesterday's practice because of the weather didn't help either as any time in the car is always beneficial, especially for a long lap like Spa. I'm sure the car will be good in the race and we should have a good strategy."

How do you assess today's qualifying performance?
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: "A little disappointing to be honest as we hoped for a bit more than that today. Kimi didn't quite get a perfect lap and Romain wasn't happy with the setup of his car. The car looks to have been unusually difficult today, with some inconsistency making it difficult to extract the best lap time. This is unexpected, as previously this season we've been able to find a good setup very rapidly when there has been limited running."

What can be achieved in the race?
AP: "We're looking forward to a strong race and there looks to be no weakness in the car or our race strategy. The race will be about tyre management as the loads on the tyres are very high here. If there are no strategic dramas we hope to bring home another good points haul."

How compromised were preparations after yesterday's poor weather?
AP: "We ran much less than normal, but it's the same situation for everyone. We still have a good idea of what we are going to do in the race. This is our twelfth race of the season so we understand the tyres a lot more and we're far better off than in the earlier races."

How do both tyre compounds perform here?
AP: "We're happy, with no dramas and no warm-up issues. We had a little graining with the soft tyre this morning and we preferred the harder tyre with high fuel loads. We'll start with the medium compound and take it from there."

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Published: 01/09/2012
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