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5 November 2012

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, comments from the Lotus F1 Team


YES !!! Congratulations to Kimi Räikkönen and the Lotus F1 Team with the victory at Abu Dhabi.


Friday, 2 November 2012

Romain Grosjean went fifth fastest and Kimi Räikkönen set the sixth quickest time – with just 0.032secs separating them – at the end of Friday’s two practice sessions at the Yas Marina Circuit this afternoon. The team evaluated new chassis wings and an exhaust update. Both cars ran reliably throughout the two 90 minute practice sessions.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes :

We evaluated an exhaust update on Kimi’s car in FP1 and FP2.
Romain ran new chassis wings in both sessions.
Pirelli’s medium compound tyre was used in the first session, the medium and soft in the afternoon.

What we learned today :
We gained a good amount of data to make a conclusion on the exhaust update.
We will run with the new chassis wings on both cars for the rest of the weekend.

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05
Free practice 1 : P10, 1:45.422, 15 laps
Free practice 2 : P6, 1:42.532, 28 laps

Kimi :
“We were good on Friday in India and we’ve been strong again here in Abu Dhabi today. We tried a few new parts on the car in both sessions and we have some things to go through before tomorrow. Our lap times seem to be pretty okay so far ; hopefully we can find a little bit more pace for tomorrow in practice and then again for the qualifying session.”

Romain Grosjean, E20-03
Free practice 1 : P14, 1:45.743, 20 laps
Free practice 2 : P5, 1:42.500, 34 laps

Romain :
“Looking at today’s times I think it’s possible for us to be battling nearer to those ahead of us this weekend, as I think we can still improve our lap times. I did not drive the best lap of my life with the option tyres today ; with the first set of options you put on you have to go for it, so I think I can still improve a little bit. To get in front of the cars ahead of us will be difficult, but we will try, so why not ? We had some updates that worked well, so we will keep them.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director :
“We’re quite happy with where we are today. We spent the morning on medium tyres, setting up and balancing the cars. Both were reasonable, with the drivers relatively happy. We ran an exhaust update with Kimi in FP1 and went back to the standard setup for the start of the second session. We then did another back to back analysis, so whereas we would normally have done a much longer high fuel run we spent FP2 evaluating this to gain good data and give us a clear picture on where we need to be tomorrow.”

Saturday, 3 november 2012

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

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05. Q : P5, 1:41.260. FP3 : P9, 1:43.184
“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, E20-03. Q : P10, 1:41.778. FP3 : P6, 1:43.015
“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.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director :
“Overall a good performance from the team.”

How do you assess today’s qualifying performance ?
“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 ?
“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 ?
“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.”

 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Kimi Räikkönen has taken his 19th Grand Prix victory – the 48th win for an Enstone team – with a glorious day-to-night victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Kimi made an excellent start to take second place at the start from fourth on the grid, then capitalised when Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren retired. Romain Grosjean did not finish the race after being involved in an incident for which Sergio Perez was deemed responsible.

Kimi maintains third position in the Drivers’ Championship on 198 points ; a diminished 47 shy of Fernando Alonso and an increased 31 ahead of Mark Webber. The team remains fourth in the Constructors’ Championship on 288 points ; a reduced 30 behind McLaren and an increased 152 in front of Mercedes.

Kimi started on soft tyres, pitting on lap 31 for a set of new medium compound rubber.
Romain started on soft tyres, pitting on lap 1 for a set of new mediums then again on lap 9 under safety car conditions for a further set of scrubbed soft rubber.

Kimi Räikkönen, P1, E20-05
"I’m very happy for the team, and for myself also. You never know what’s going to happen during the race ; the safety cars made it quite tricky, but I’ve had similar races many, many times this year. Today we had a clear circuit to be able to use our speed. Perhaps we were not the fastest at the end, but we were quick enough and consistent enough to win so it’s great for the team. We’ve had some difficult races in the second half of the season so it’s fantastic to come back with a win."

Romain Grosjean, DNF, E20-03
"I am very happy for Kimi as it’s the win we were waiting for and it’s an unbelievable result for the whole team. For myself I’m disappointed as I was running pretty well. It was a tight battle with three of us in a row at turn eleven, then Sergio [Perez] went off track at turn thirteen and came back on the inside at turn fourteen leaving me with no room to go anywhere else. Mark [Webber] then came from behind and we touched ; it was a big shame. A great day for the team, but an unlucky one for me."

Eric Boullier, Team Principal
"I have one word first of all : Great. Then there are many words such as ‘relief’ and ‘deserved’. It’s obviously a very well deserved result for the team. I’m pleased for Kimi and he did a very good job. We’ve been pushing very hard all season and we’ve nearly had it before. There’s a little frustration not to have had a win sooner, and we have been waiting for it, but it’s a fantastic feeling to finally take that victory and a superb reward for the team. It’s great for Formula 1, it’s great for Kimi and it’s great for our team."

James Allison, Technical Director
"When you are as happy as this it is hard to avoid lapsing into cliché. Despite being tantalisingly close several times this year, we have waited a long time to return to the top step of the podium. It is a massive tribute both to a flawless drive from Kimi and to the tenacity of the entire Enstone team for never having taken their eye off the prize all year. With two races left in the season we go on to Austin with a spring in our step, invigorated to do it all over again and see what we can achieve."

Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader
"It’s just an awesome feeling to finally win a race ; the first victory for the Enstone-Viry partnership in its present configuration. All season the chassis-engine package has been strong and everyone has worked incredibly hard in the last few weeks to successfully introduce new parts to get that last piece of performance. It all worked out beautifully today and hats off to Kimi for judging it perfectly."