Lotus move past McLaren in points

By on Sunday, July 8, 2012

Photo credit: Lotus F1 Team

A solid afternoon at Silverstone, with Kimi Raikkonen fifth and Romain Grosjean sixth, was enough to move Lotus ahead of McLaren in the Constructors’ Championship ahead.

Lotus began the weekend in third place with 126 points, 15 behind McLaren. However, with McLaren enduring a tough afternoon as their home race, with Lewis Hamilton eighth and Jenson Button tenth, the finishes scored b Raikkonen and Grosjean elevated the Enstone-based team to144 points, two ahead of McLaren who drop to fourth. Ferrari leaped into second place behind Red Bull Racing thanks to a second for Fernando Alonso and a fourth-placed finish for Felipe Massa.

Raikkonen’s race was largely uneventful with the Finn battling hard after he had a difficult start.

"I had a pretty okay first few corners but I had to avoid the cars in front and drove over the kerb on the inside of the turn, then I lost a place and was pushed wide,” he said. “If I had stayed in front of Mark [Webber] at the start it would have been pretty good seeing where he finished, but after that Lewis [Hamilton] also got past me.

“I fought back and our car was strong, especially on the harder tyres,” he added. “If I’d had a better start I could have finished much better; but that’s racing and sometimes you pay a bigger price than you expect from the first lap.”

Grosjean, meanwhile, had a much busier race. The Frenchman tangled with Force India Paul Di Resta at the start and the Lotus driver had to put for a new front wing. Thereafter had to fight his way back into contention from 22nd place.

“I had an incident on the first corner at the start of the race where I was on outside of Lewis [Hamilton] and had a Force India that hit me and broke my front wing,” he said. “That’s when I thought that our race was going to be seriously compromised, which it would have been if the rain had come.

“The team did a fantastic job in giving me a great race strategy and we believed in ourselves to go for long stints with both sets of hard tyres,” he added. “I was still battling hard with the cars around me, but trying to save the tyres at the same time.

“It became harder towards the end of the race but I hung on to my sixth place,” he concluded. “Kimi was too far in front of me to catch him at the end of the race. We both scored good points for the team, so it’s been a good day.”


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