Date:Monday May 14 2012
It's a sign of how far Lotus have come this season that a third place finish for Kimi Raikkonen is almost now seen as a disappointment.
The weekend almost went so well for them, they might not have been taking the headlines during the practice sessions, but the talk amongst the paddock was that Lotus would be heading into the Spanish Grand Prix looking very strong.
In FP1 Kimi was ninth quickest, 0.855 seconds off the pace, in FP2 he closed the gap to 0.519 seconds, finishing in fifth.
On the day of qualifying in FP3 he was back down to ninth 0.768 seconds off the pace, but it was the longer runs on the harder compound tyre that was impressing everyone up and down the pit-lane.
With Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher and Kamui Kobayashi not running in Q3, the pole position shoot-out was between seven and Kimi was to finish qualifying in fifth place, although he was later to be promoted to fourth following Lewis Hamilton's exclusion.
After qualifying, the 2007 Formula One World Champion was pretty content with his afternoon's work: “I think we had a chance to be in the top three but we’ve been fighting with the set-up quite a bit today. We changed the car for qualifying and actually it was the correct call in the end; it was just a few small mistakes which cost me some time on my Q3 lap. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow in the race; the car has usually been better on Sunday than it has been on Saturday, so if that’s the case tomorrow we’ll be pretty happy. he told formula1.com.
And of course Kimi would be proved right, although his Lotus didn't quite live up to the high expectations many had.
They might not have had the one-lap pace to battle for pole position, but come Sunday, it was looking like they would be strong contenders for the race win.
Many thought that Raikkonen could challenge the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso and the Williams of Maldonado with much better pace on the harder tyre.
Quite a few in the media even had Raikkonen as the favourite for the race, as their cars because they had previously shown such good pace on the Pirelli tyres during previous race afternoons.
But for some reason the Finn was unable to keep pace with Alonso and Maldonado during the first stint of the race after taking third place into the first corner.
'I had a very good start and had a chance to overtake on the outside, but we did not have enough speed and I hit the limiter in fifth gear. I am a bit disappointed because if everything had gone right in the first part of the race, we could have won. There was no issue with the speed of the car, but it is so close between all the teams that if you have a small problem or a small issue it can cost so much.'
Towards the end of the race rather than Alonso hunting down Maldonado on fresher tyres, the double world champion was actually having to keep a close eye on his mirrors with Kimi closing the gap by a second a lap.
But in the end Alonso held on to second place with the Lotus driver settling for third, but in the knowledge that his car does have the ability of taking victory this season.
Kimi continued: 'Our car can do it, but everything has to fall into the right place to be able to get on to the top step. My first stint was okay, but I didn't have the speed to stay with the cars in front. We changed the tyres and it seemed to be pretty good, but we were too far away. At the end we needed a few more laps and we could have fought for the win. We're not far away from it and so far we've made good steps forwards; the car feels strong everywhere.'
Another good points day for Kimi Raikkonen, places him in fourth place in the drivers world championship and still within touching distance of Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton ahead of him.
Date:Monday May 14 2012
Hamilton working hard to catch Rosberg (Thursday April 17 2014)
Hass might join F1 grid in 2016 (Wednesday April 16 2014)
Red Bull lose appeal (Wednesday April 16 2014)
Brawn to return to Ferrari? (Tuesday April 15 2014)
Domenicali quits (Monday April 14 2014)
NASCAR owner confirms Formula 1 entry (Monday April 14 2014)
Red Bull appeal begins (Monday April 14 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 4 (Sunday April 13 2014)
Who will win the Chinese GP? (Sunday April 13 2014)
Mercedes hit out at Ferrari (Saturday April 12 2014)
Perez nearly quit F1 (Friday April 11 2014)
Mercedes stay on top in Bahrain (Thursday April 10 2014)
Red Bull & McLaren in legal row (Thursday April 10 2014)
Blog: The Battle of Mercedes (Thursday April 10 2014)
Mercedes on top in first test (Wednesday April 9 2014)
Formula One should celebrate new era (Wednesday April 9 2014)
F1 cost cap plan abandoned (Tuesday April 8 2014)
Two new teams to join Formula One? (Tuesday April 8 2014)
Maldonado punished (Monday April 7 2014)
Formula One puts on a showcase (Monday April 7 2014)
Blog: Bahrain GP Report (Monday April 7 2014)
2014 - Bahrain - Race (Sunday April 6 2014)
Blog: Sakhir Qualifying (Saturday April 5 2014)
2014 - Bahrain - Qualifying (Saturday April 5 2014)
2014 - Bahrain - FP3 (Saturday April 5 2014)
2014 - Bahrain - FP2 (Friday April 4 2014)
2014 - Bahrain - FP1 (Friday April 4 2014)
Cautious optimism for Schumacher (Friday April 4 2014)
Williams resolve team orders row (Friday April 4 2014)
Hamilton & Rosberg on par (Thursday April 3 2014)
Sauber have identified their issues (Thursday April 3 2014)
Sauber & Caterham make driver changes (Wednesday April 2 2014)
Alonso finds the positives (Tuesday April 1 2014)
Fuel-gate rumbles on (Tuesday April 1 2014)
Red Bull are closing the gap (Tuesday April 1 2014)
Massa defiant after ignoring team call (Tuesday April 1 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 3 (Monday March 31 2014)
Who will win the Bahrain GP? (Monday March 31 2014)
Hamilton dominant in Malaysia [w/VIDEO] (Monday March 31 2014)
Blog: Malaysian GP Report (Sunday March 30 2014)
2014 - Malaysia - Race (Sunday March 30 2014)
Blog: Sepang Qualifying (Saturday March 29 2014)
2014 - Malaysia - Qualifying (Saturday March 29 2014)
2014 - Malaysia - FP3 (Saturday March 29 2014)
2014 - Malaysia - FP2 (Friday March 28 2014)
2014 - Malaysia - FP1 (Friday March 28 2014)
Lotus trying to put two and two together (Thursday March 27 2014)
Sutil unhappy with weight issues (Thursday March 27 2014)
Video Feature: Malaysia Preview (Wednesday March 26 2014)
McLaren pushing hard (Wednesday March 26 2014)
Red Bull owner slams F1 (Tuesday March 25 2014)
Lotus hoping for improvement (Monday March 24 2014)
Date set for Red Bull's appeal (Monday March 24 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 2 (Sunday March 23 2014)
Who will win in Malaysia? (Saturday March 22 2014)
Red Bull looking to improve (Friday March 21 2014)
Kimi points finger at brake-by-wire system (Thursday March 20 2014)
F1's new sound (Thursday March 20 2014)
Williams delighted with Bottas drive (Wednesday March 19 2014)
Lotus problems down to MGU-K component (Wednesday March 19 2014)
Ferrari unhappy with Australia performance (Tuesday March 18 2014)
Perfect debut for Magnussen (Tuesday March 18 2014)
Disappointing weekend for Red Bull (Monday March 17 2014)
Bittersweet weekend for Mercedes (Monday March 17 2014)
F1 Blog: Australian GP: New dawn (Sunday March 16 2014)
2014 - Australia - Race (Sunday March 16 2014)
2014 - Australia - Qualifying (Saturday March 15 2014)
F1 Blog: Rain clouds have a silver lining (Saturday March 15 2014)
2014 - Australia - FP3 (Saturday March 15 2014)
Rd 1 - F1 Fans Forum Prediction Competition (Friday March 14 2014)
2014 - Australia - FP2 (Friday March 14 2014)
2014 - Australia - FP1 (Friday March 14 2014)
Stewards to be lenient in Australia (Thursday March 13 2014)
Chilton targets maiden point (Thursday March 13 2014)
Video: A closer look at Red Bull's RB10 (Thursday March 13 2014)
Video: Ferrari's internal battle (Thursday March 13 2014)
Small and encouraging signs for Schumacher (Wednesday March 12 2014)
F1 Blog: The Braces Are Off (Wednesday March 12 2014)
Lotus depending on Renault improvements (Wednesday March 12 2014)
Mercedes & Hamilton favourites say Horner (Wednesday March 12 2014)
Who will win the Australian Grand Prix? (Tuesday March 11 2014)
Williams positive ahead of new season (Tuesday March 11 2014)
Ecclestone targets Azerbaijan (Tuesday March 11 2014)
No change for Schumacher (Tuesday March 11 2014)
Qualifying tweaks confirmed (Monday March 10 2014)
F1 Prediction Competition - Round One (Saturday March 8 2014)
Lotus will recover (Saturday March 8 2014)
Ferrari behind Mercedes & Williams (Friday March 7 2014)
Pirelli announce tyre compounds for opening races (Friday March 7 2014)
Vettel concerned with lack of pace (Thursday March 6 2014)
More to come for Mercedes (Wednesday March 5 2014)
Where do McLaren stand? (Tuesday March 4 2014)
Red Bull will overcome problems, but when? (Monday March 3 2014)
FOTA folds with a whimper (Saturday March 1 2014)
Williams looking solid (Friday February 28 2014)
London Grand Prix takes step closer to reality? (Thursday February 27 2014)
2014 Formula One Prediction Competition (Thursday February 27 2014)
Smedley's Williams move confirmed (Wednesday February 26 2014)
New Pirelli tyres more consistent & durable (Tuesday February 25 2014)
Wolff to drive two practice sessions (Tuesday February 25 2014)
|7.||Push The Button||426|