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28 July 2013

Hungarian Grand Prix 2013

Friday 26th July

Romain Grosjean set the third fastest time on the opening day of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, with Kimi Räikkönen third in the morning and eighth in the afternoon after a productive day of running at the Hungaroring.

Both cars ran with the team’s slimline bodywork configuration and without the ‘Device’ for what was both drivers’ first taste of the latest medium and soft compound Pirelli tyres.

Technical Programme Notes:
Both cars ran with new mirrors, rear floor updates and exhaust configurations.
Pirelli’s medium compound tyre was used in the morning, the medium and soft in the afternoon.
Cooling levels were monitored closely in the high temperatures.

What We Learned Today:

Setup was modified for the latest specification tyres.
Soft tyre performance and long run performance were both favourable today, with evident areas for performance gains tomorrow.

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03
Free practice 1: P3, 1:23.010, 20 laps
Free practice 2: P8, 1:22.011, 32 laps

"We have some areas to improve on with the setup" TWEET IT

Kimi: “It wasn’t ideal today but it wasn’t that bad either. We took a bit of time to understand the new tyres and it was also very hot. It’s too early to say if the heat will suit us with these new tyres, but we’ll soon have a better idea. I had some traffic in the afternoon and so wasn’t able to set a fast lap on new tyres, plus we have some areas to improve on with the setup. We’ll try to do the best that we can in qualifying and we’ll see where we are. If we get the car right we should be ok tomorrow.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-02
Free practice 1: P5, 1:23.111, 20 laps
Free practice 2: P3, 1:21.417, 40 laps

"Our pace looks pretty good on both compounds, but the field is quite close" TWEET IT

Romain: “It’s been a good day overall. I didn’t get to try the new tyres at Silverstone so the main focus was to work on getting the most from them which all went ok. To be honest they’re not really night and day from the old ones, which is good as it means we haven’t had to change too much. There’s still a bit of graining and degradation to deal with but that’s normal. Our pace looks pretty good on both compounds, but the field is quite close so it’s hard to say where we are. We’ll just keep doing our best to find the right compromise for qualifying and the race and see where we stand at the end of the weekend.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:

"We’re happy with all the data we’ve seen so far" TWEET IT

“A good solid Friday for us with nothing untoward to note – save for a leaky drinks system – during the course of the day. The car is clearly working well here and we have no concerns about the heat. Kimi’s afternoon time isn’t representative as he got caught up with a McLaren on his fast lap and we have no concerns about our long or short run pace. We paid particular attention to the various temperature levels on the car to ensure cooling levels are sufficient for Sunday and we’re happy with all the data we’ve seen so far.”

Saturday 27th July 2013

Romain Grosjean will take third place on the grid with Kimi Räikkönen lining up sixth for tomorrow’s Hungarian Grand Prix, after a hot qualifying session at the Hungaroring.

Both drivers are one place behind where they qualified here in 2012 which resulted for a 2-3 finish for the team; Kimi coming home just ahead of Romain on that occasion.

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03. Q: P6, 1:19.851. FP3: P11, 1:21.589.

"P6 is not ideal, but it’s better than we have seen sometimes so we’ll try and see what we can do tomorrow" TWEET IT

“It hasn’t been the easiest weekend for me so far. Maybe the new tyres are a bit different – especially on the front – so it’s been hard to find a good setup. We’re getting there little by little and the car was definitely better in qualifying than at any other point this weekend. Obviously P6 is not ideal, but it’s better than we have seen sometimes so we’ll try and see what we can do tomorrow. It’s not so easy to overtake here, but we have seen in past years that if you can run with the tyres well you can make a lot of places, so let’s see what we can do.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-05. Q: P3, 1:19.595. FP3: P1, 1:20.730.

"If we can put everything together there’s the strong possibility for a good result" TWEET IT

“It’s been a good weekend so far with the car consistently showing strong pace. Setting the fastest time in practice this morning was a good sign, and the car was handling really well throughout each qualifying session. Lewis set a very quick time, but we’re not too far from Sebastian [Vettel] and anything could happen in the race depending on the tyres. I think tomorrow will be very open and a lot will depend on strategy, traffic and things like that, so if we can put everything together there’s the strong possibility for a good result.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:

"From third and sixth we can have a strong race" TWEET IT

How was qualifying for the team?
We’re reasonably happy but – of course – we always want more. Everything went pretty much as we expected. For Romain, his single lap and long run pace has been strong and Kimi is much more on top of his car than yesterday. From third and sixth there’s no reason why we can’t have a strong race with both drivers.

Who do we see as the main rivals for a good result?
We see Sebastian Vettel as our main challenger in the race. The Mercedes did go well in Monaco on a tight and twisty circuit – in the race as well as in qualifying – but here tyre degradation should be more of a factor. This should help us in our fight for a good result.

We saw some sideways moments from Kimi in the last corner; any concerns?
It happened a couple of times and certainly makes for nice slow motion television. He has complained of the rear sliding which has been something we’ve focused on eliminating through setup tweaks.

Romain just missed out on P2; how much of a difference is it here between being on the front or second row?
Third is actually almost as good as second here as you start on the clean side of the grid and it’s a very dusty circuit. Lewis [Hamilton] and Sebastian were just too strong for us in qualifying, but there’s potential for us to have a very good race tomorrow.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Kimi Räikkönen took second place at the Hungaroring to jump back into second in the Drivers’ Championship after a hot and hard-fought Hungarian Grand Prix. Kimi used a two-stop strategy for his sixth podium of the season, spurring the advances of Sebastian Vettel in the final laps. Romain Grosjean drove a storming race, withstanding a drive-through penalty and a twenty second addition to his race time to finish in sixth position. Kimi is now second in the Drivers’ Championship with 134 points to Sebastian’s 172. The team was the second highest scoring in the Constructors’ Championship today, remaining in fourth place on 183 points, but closing the gap to Ferrari on 194.

Kimi Räikkönen, P2, E21-03

"Anything can still happen so we’ll keep fighting until the end." TWEET IT

“It was a good race and a good result for the team. The strategy worked well. We did two long stints on the tyres but they weren’t too bad and the car felt strong so it allowed us to make one less stop. In the last few laps the rears were a bit on edge, but apart from that it was ok. Sebastian [Vettel] got the run on me a couple of times but luckily it was in places that you can’t really overtake. The main positive is that we gained a few points to Seb in the Championship. For sure we could have maybe closed the gap a little more with a win, but anything we can get back will help. We’re only halfway through the season and it will be hard to catch up, but anything can still happen so we’ll keep fighting until the end.”

Romain Grosjean, P6, E21-02

"The car felt really good and it was the traffic that cost us." TWEET IT

“For sure this is one that got away, but I’m very happy with my race and I honestly don’t think I could have done much more. Maybe the strategy didn’t quite work how we wanted, but the car felt really good and it was the traffic that cost us. Without this maybe there would never have been a drive-through penalty which for sure didn’t help. I haven’t seen the footage yet and I thought it was a good move, but unfortunately the stewards took a different view. I’ve no problem with the time-added for the incident with Jenson and I apologised to him afterwards. This could have been the one for me, but we will just have to wait a little bit longer and keep improving like we have been recently to make it happen.”

Eric Boullier, Team Principal

"We’ll be consistently fighting for podiums at every race weekend in the second half of the season." TWEET IT

"Another good result for Kimi today. He drove very well and was backed up by a strong strategy to help him make the podium. Romain was very unfortunate in that we couldn’t quite jump Fernando [Alonso] in the pits which cost him a lot of time, plus the drive-through penalty cost him a far better result. He made a great move at a circuit where overtaking is difficult and he had no room to do anything else. For us the Stewards’ decision was harsh. The most important thing to take from the weekend has been the pace of the car; this circuit is a bit special, and I think there will be some circuits where we have to work a bit harder, but I’m confident we’ll be consistently fighting for podiums at every race weekend in the second half of the season. Red Bull are a long way ahead, but we’ve shown today that they can be beaten so we want to keep pushing them all the way.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director

"It was a great race today from Kimi" TWEET IT

“It was a great race today from Kimi – as always. We started the race intending a three-stop strategy, but as the race played out it became clear that a two-stop would give us better possibilities so we switched over to that strategy. Kimi drove superbly to look after his tyres but deliver exactly the pace we needed at the appropriate time. He was rewarded by returning to second in the Drivers’ Championship. I feel really sorry for Romain for what appears to be a very harsh penalty for a fantastic overtaking move on Felipe Massa. Yes, he ran off the track, but he had nowhere else to go. It certainly seemed like good racing to me; were it not for the drive-through penalty, we would have had two cars on the podium again.”

Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader
“We had high expectations after our strong qualifying positions. Kimi drove a fantastic race with an aggressive strategy of two pit stops which was successful with a podium second place. Romain was very fast all the weekend but with his penalty he lost any chance to get to the podium. We controlled the engine temperatures during all the race and we demonstrated one more time that the Lotus-Renault package is really very fast. The summer break will be very good and we are looking forward to come back on track at Spa.”