With a performance that captured the imagination of every motorsport fan around the world today, the Lotus F1® team rose to the occasion for the fifth round of the FIA 2013 Formula One® World Championship competition that played out under sunny Spanish skies at Barcelona’s Circuit de Cataluñya.
The Enstone based black and gold troupe served the Lotus name proudly with Kimi delivering a P2 finish and a points haul that places him ever closer to the Championship title position, with only 4 points keeping him off the top spot. Not such a great race for Romain however, as rear suspension failure resulted in early retirement and a disappointing end for what could have been a promising race for the Frenchman.
Never-the-less, despite one man down, the team displayed a winning determination that saw Kimi manage tyre degradation under difficult circumstances, executing a 3-stop strategy that again displayed his consistency and championship talent.
A great finish for the team who also welcome Nick Chester as Technical Director, following last week’s announcement of James Allison’s mid-season departure.
Kimi Räikkönen, P2, E21-03 “Unfortunately it’s second place again so it’s not time to celebrate too much. The car felt good and we did pretty much all we could today, but we didn’t have the pace to challenge Fernando [Alonso]. I drove to the maximum and it’s good for the championship that Sebastian finished behind us. It’s nice to be on the podium for me and the team; let’s see what we can do in Monaco.”
Romain Grosjean, DNF, E21-02 “I made a poor start but after that I was on the pace and we know we’re able to produce good race strategies, so there was potential for a strong result today. The car was feeling pretty good until we had an issue with the rear suspension which meant I had to return to the pits and retire from the race, which is a great shame. It’s always disappointing for everyone when something like this happens but there’s no-one to blame; it’s just a part of motor racing.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal “Firstly, we need to investigate what happened to Romain’s car. I feel sorry for him and for the team. Equally however, I’m delighted for the team to achieve another second place with Kimi today. Once again he drove fantastically and we were able to give him a great car with a good strategy. We took points from Sebastian in the Drivers’ Championship, but we have lost out a bit in the Constructors’ Championship. It was a good job by the entire team.”
The sixth round of the competition takes place in Monaco 26th May 2013.