Lotus disappointed with qualifying result

By on Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lotus F1 Team

Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean say they are disappointed after qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Championship leader Raikkonen set the seventh fastest time but was given a three place penalty for impeding Nico Rosberg.

"We weren’t quick enough on the intermediates so I don’t think we could have found much more time in the wet today," he said.

"For sure I wanted more but it is what it is and I hope we’ll do better on Sunday. It’s obviously disappointing to lose three places on the grid, but we’ll have to see what happens in the race. I have no idea what the weather will do, but it will be the same for everyone."

Grosjean believes his Lotus E21 has improved but was caught out by the wet weather.

"The car felt better today for sure and we were looking good after free practice earlier this afternoon," he said.

"We should have easily had both cars in the top ten, but unfortunately the skies opened at just the wrong time for me. My first run in Q2 was on scrubbed tyres and then as soon as we came in to fit the new ones it started raining, so for now they stay new. It’s a shame but there’s a long race ahead of us tomorrow and we now have extra sets of fresh dry tyres in our pocket so hopefully we can use them well."

Technical director James Allison fears wet weather will impact the running of the race.

"Unfortunately, it looks like the weather could be much like today, with further wet conditions," he said.

"This sort of variable weather is what we frequently see in Malaysia and it’s likely to be a stern test of driver and team, in that it’s very difficult to make the correct strategy choice as the conditions develop. We haven’t shone yet in the wet, but the higher fuel loads we will use tomorrow may make it easier for us to build heat in the intermediate tyre."

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