Räikkönen starts 18th after issues with traffic
17 March 2012 – Kimi Räikkönen’s Formula 1 comeback begins with 18th position on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix. The Finn, who insists that he did not suffer with more Lotus steering problems, claims to have been held up by traffic on Melbourne on Saturday.
“Today didn’t go quite as planned,” the 2007 winner reported. “There’s no issue with the car; I made a mistake and there was a communication issue, so the timing wasn’t right to get another lap. It cost us a good qualifying position, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
“We should have easily been in Q2. It’s not the best start but we’ll try to put it right in the race. There’s plenty of speed in the car. The steering was fine. It’s not perfect for exactly what I want but it doesn’t affect my driving. For sure, we can do better than 18th tomorrow, so we’ll have to see what happens.”
Räikkönen’s hopes of Q2 were exceeded by Team Principal Eric Boullier, who is sure the Finn could have matched the capabilities of team-mate Romain Grosjean; after an inspired performance, the Franco-Swiss sets off from third on the grid.
Further post-qualifying feelings from Lotus:
Grosjean hails 'fantastic job' by Lotus