If not the most exciting, F1® proved again today it’s certainly the most dramatic sport in the world. Lotus fans were treated to an absolute stonker of a race, which saw the black and gold colours flying high in this, the 9th round of the F1® World Championship race at
Both Lotus’ began the race in the top 6 and maintained their positions in the frenetic dogfight that always ensues after lights out. Holding the P5 and P4 formation, Lotus F1® Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kimi Räikkönen consistently defended, and battled, displaying great race pace from the off.
Romain who began on the soft compound tyre advanced to the top of the pack staying in P1 for some 10 laps, thanks to some successful tyre safeguarding and a delayed pit stop. Indeed, strategic pit stop timing kept him at the top of the grid in P2 for most of the race with Kimi not far behind in P3.
With a late tyre change for Kimi from medium to soft tyres, it was then Kimi who quickly advanced to P2 and with both Lotus’ putting the pressure on the frontrunner, all eyes were on the black and gold in the final laps. A bare knuckle battle no less and both Lotus’ claimed the podium in P2 and P3 respectively, with our favourite Finn, narrowly missing out by 1.008 seconds. Kimi remains in third position in the Drivers’ Championship with 116 points, with just 7 points behind second place. The team was the highest scoring in the Constructors’ Championship today, remaining in fourth place on 157 points.
Kimi Räikkönen. P2, E21-03: “We had a pretty good last stint of the race, but the cars are close on performance so it’s difficult to overtake. Maybe some more laps would have helped us, but the race is only 60 laps so you have to do your best with that. After my first stop I was stuck behind a Mercedes for a while, but once I was past the car was pretty good. After the safety car three of us were able to pull away, but we were too close on speed to change the order. It was a good day for the team. Of course, we wanted to win; we couldn’t, but we did score the most points here. The warmer temperatures definitely helped us, so let’s hope for some more hot weather in
Romain Grosjean P3, E21-02: “After some difficult races, everything went right today and it was pretty special when I was leading the race and returning to the podium is naturally a good thing. My car felt great on the first stint with the soft tyres and it’s clear that the summer weather really suits us. Hopefully we’ll have a long summer now in
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "That was a very good race from the team which validates all the hard work which has been going on back at Enstone, so we thank everyone at the factory for their efforts. After three difficult weekends, being on the podium was exactly what we needed. We need to continue like this to make up for lost ground in both championships. The E21 worked very well today and both Kimi and Romain drove superbly. We had a good strategy from the pit wall, some fantastic pit stops, and were it not for losing some time behind both Mercedes, it’s possible that we could have won today. I think we’ll have to ask Pirelli to keep this weekend’s specification of tyres for the rest of the season.”