Lotus News Article

Formula One - Hungarian GP Race Report

Sunday, July 29, 2012 - 20:00
Another Double Podium! - KIMI: P2, ROMAIN: P3

Hungarian GP 2012 double victory

Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean both reach the podium at the Hungarian Grand Prix and challenged Lewis Hamilton for victory throughout.  It was Lotus’s second double-podium of the year, the drivers having finished the same way round in Bahrain.

Kimi started fifth and lost a place to championship leader Fernando Alonso, forcing him to lap behind the Ferrari for his first stint and conserve his tyres. He had a problem with his KERS, which failed at the start of the race and only later returned at 50 percent power. Team-mate Romain, who started P2, was the one putting the initial pressure on Hamilton before pitting on Lap 19 and losing a second during his stop due to a slow rear tyre fit.

Räikkönen profited as the pitstops shook out and rose to P4 on a long 26-lap stint on soft tyres before re-pitting for mediums on Lap 46, six laps after Grosjean and five after Hamilton, and preparing for a final hard charge. The Finn exited the pits just as Romain, who had been held up by a backmarker, came screaming down the main straight, causing their engineers to sweat as they went through Turn 1 side-by-side and Räikkönen forced Grosjean wide in order to steal the racing line and hunt Hamilton.

He was soon within a second of the Englishman, but the McLaren driver was able to eek out faster third sectors, protecting himself down the main straight. There were no other opportunities for the Lotus to pass. Grosjean held on to third ahead of Vettel, who made a third pitstop without losing a place and charged back to attack the Lotus on fresh softs, to no avail.

Hungarian GP 2012, Kimi Räikkönen

Kimi Räikkönen : “We came second and it’s not enough, but McLaren had very good speed. It’s very difficult to overtake here, and Lewis was pulling away on the straight. My only chance was if he ran out of tyres. We had a lot of speed but we just couldn’t use it. Nevertheless, a double podium is good for the championship and I’ll take second place. We keep making it very hard for ourselves in qualifying. But it’s a long season and they’ll probably be another time. I’ve been long enough in the business that I don’t worry about it too much.”

Hungarian GP 2012, Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean: We were fighting for the win throughout the race, and it’s a fantastic result after such a difficult race in Germany. It didn’t go all my way though. Our first pitstop was a disaster, and then I got stuck behind another car and lost 1.5 seconds, which meant Kimi was able to get ahead. He did what he had to do and pushed me to the outside. It’s a good result for the team but to be honest I’m a bit disappointed. I think we were really close to winning here.”