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Bel GP - Race weekend recap - Raikkonen

Another race, another podium position for Lotus and Kimi Raikkonen.

The Lotus car continues to look very consistent and very strong this season and that was certainly the case as Kimi and team-mate Romain Grosjean went into qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

Kimi took fourth and was eventually bumped to third following a penalty for Pastor Maldonado. Romain Grosjean qualified ninth placing both Lotus drivers well in Q3.

“It wasn’t the easiest of qualifying sessions. The car is okay but it doesn’t look like we have the speed that some others have and we were certainly not quick enough for pole today. The race is a different story. On the grid we’re in front of the guys who are ahead of us in the championship so we’ll try to score more points than them.” Raikkonen told after qualifying.

Raikkonen enjoyed a number of close battles throughout the race, especially with seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.

The much talked about double-DRS for Lotus was not used this weekend, which was ironic, as it was the Mercedes double-DRS that caused Kimi all sorts of problems.

The Lotus driver would battle hard to get passed on one section of the track, only to lose out in the DRS zone, until Kimi pulled off the manoeuvre of the weekend to take the spot on the entrance to Eau Rouge.

After the race he said: 'I made a pretty okay start, similar to Jenson [Button]’s and I overtook the Sauber. I saw a lot of action in the mirrors but luckily it missed me. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the pace today. My car wasn’t great all weekend and we couldn’t find a competitive setup. On new tyres it was okay, but we had to use a lot of downforce to prevent sliding. That meant we were very slow on the straight. You could see this in my battle with Michael [Schumacher]. Each time I passed him he just went straight back past down the Kemmel straight. My only chance was to go for a gap at Eau Rouge. Luckily it paid off and I managed to stay ahead of him that time. We didn’t have the pace today and it wasn’t an easy race, so P3 was not too bad.”

The Finnish driver has had a remarkable return year to Formula One, finishing on the podium in four of the last five races.

The 2007 F1 World champion might still be chasing his first victory since his return to the sport, but right now he continues to be the most consistent driver on the grid and now sits fourth in the world championship, one point behind Webber, nine behind Vettel and thirty-three behind championship leader Fernando Alonso.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday September 3 2012

Time: 12:05PM


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