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1 July 2013

Silverstone: Tyre drama and no late pit stop dashes Lotus F1 Team hopes in the 2013 British Grand Prix

Kimi Räikkönen was bitterly disappointed during the 2013 British Grand Prix at Silverstone yesterday, as the failure of a late pit stop quashed his hopes of a top spot finish. Umpteen teams suffered rear tyre failures which ultimately caused a pack shuffle and opened a glistening opportunity for Lotus. Team driver Kimi avoided the danger and drama and when some 10 laps before the end the then front-runner suffered suspected gear box failure, Kimi slipped expectantly into P2.

At this point circuit debris resulted in the safety car being deployed and several teams taking the opportunity for fresh tyres. Fresh tyres proved insurmountable for Kimi who heartbreakingly lost 3 places during the last 7 laps. The Finn ended the race in P5 taking 10 points for the team. He took little consolation in the fact that he now beat Michael Schumacher’s unblemished 25-race consecutive points haul.

Team pal Romain Grosjean fared little better, when a small collision early on in the race caused front wing damage resulting in early retirement for the Frenchman.

Kimi Räikkönen P5, E21-03 “I tried to hold on at the end of the race, but with tyres that were maybe twenty laps older than the others’ it was impossible to keep them behind. It’s a shame as the race went pretty well until then; we had good pace and looked set for a pretty easy P2, but this is racing sometimes. It’s three races now where we haven’t had the result we maybe expected, but hopefully if we can have a bit more luck and also get rid of some of the mistakes we’ll be able to get back to the front.”

Romain Grosjean DNF, E21-02 “Towards the end of the race we lost quite a big part of the front wing meaning it became really difficult to drive, so in the end it was best to retire because of safety considerations. We don’t know if it was caused by some debris or something to do with the fact that it was a new part; we will be working to find out the root of the problem. Before that my race wasn’t going quite to plan and we were suffering with tyre performance. This was related to the front wing issue which started earlier in the race. The safety cars didn’t really go our way either so it’s a race I’d rather forget. Let’s go to Germany and have a better weekend.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal "The outcome of the race isn’t rewarding with the amount of work that has been done by the team recently. Most of the upgrades we brought here seem to be working which is a positive sign, although we did struggle a bit in qualifying to generate good grip from the tyres. Our strategy was great today until the last safety car when we should have called Kimi in to save at least one position and make the podium. Unfortunately, we made the wrong call for which we apologise to Kimi and to the team. This sometimes happens and it isn’t easy to manage when you have so many safety car periods. We will be in Germany in a few days’ time where we’re confident we will be competitive and aiming to make amends.”