Raikkonen not giving up on title

By on Sunday, October 14, 2012

Photo credit: Lotus F1 Team

Kimi Raikkonen's hopes of a second world title appear increasingly forlorn after the Korean Grand Prix, although Raikkonen refuses to give up.

The Finn did admit that he achieved the maximum in Korea with a fifth place finish.

"I think this was about where we should have been today", he said. "The yellow flags at the start didn’t help when we were fighting with Felipe [Massa] but even so we didn’t quite have the speed to match the Red Bulls and Ferraris. We also lost quite a bit of time behind Lewis [Hamilton] – mainly because the new exhaust system means you lose a little bit of power so it was hard to get past – but with a few more practice sessions I’m sure we’ll learn a lot more to be able to improve it. I was pretty much on my own at the end but we had to keep pushing to maintain position and it wasn’t so easy".

Raikkonen has a forty-eight point deficit to Sebastian Vettel, but is refusing to give up on a second title.

"The gap to Sebastian [Vettel] in the Championship is quite big now so it will be very difficult to catch him, but we’ll keep pushing all the way."

Raikkonen still holds a fourteen point buffer over Lewis Hamilton in a battle for third in the championship.

Romain Grosjean finished a couple of place behind Raikkonen, although the Frenchman was simply relieved to finish the race.

"For sure I was a bit nervous starting the race today, but we did a lot of work this week trying to understand a few things and it’s certainly helped", he said.

"It wasn’t the easiest start; there was contact behind me at turn three and I took evasive action but after that it was quite straight forward. I struggled on the last set of tyres as I had graining straight away meaning the performance was not great during the final stint. Maybe we could have achieved one place better – I think I now know every detail of Force India’s car after spending so much time battling with Nico [Hulkenberg] – but I’m happy to make it to the chequered flag after a good, clean race".

Team principal Eric Bouiller praised his drivers after the Korean Grand Prix.

"We scored a good tally of points in the Constructors’ Championship and although third position is slowly edging away from us with just four races left now we’re not ready to give up", he said.

"It was good to see Romain drive very sensibly despite all the pressure that is on his shoulders; I think he is learning from this experience and it will only make him a stronger driver. Kimi’s racecraft was impressive as usual; his battle with Lewis [Hamilton] showed real class and he was maybe unlucky not to have been closer to the leading pack after being held up for so long".

Lotus sits 29 points behind McLaren in the Constructors Championship.

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