Häkkinen tipping Lotus in Monte Carlo
24 May 2012 – Mika Häkkinen will be watching this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix harbour-side and believes Lotus are the team to beat. Although good friend and fellow Finn Kimi Räikkönen managed only one lap on Thursday morning, as his steering was changed, team-mate Romain Grosjean demonstrated a strong pace and was second quickest.
Lotus had already been tipped for success in the Principality, not least due to the nimbleness of the 2012 E20 chassis, and the outfit traditionally runs heavy fuel loads on the opening day.
“Well I think the Lotus is really strong,” Häkkinen, former double World Champion and Monaco winner of 1998 for McLaren, told BBC Sport after first practice. “I also think, looking at how Nico Rosberg is driving, he is really confident, but to be honest it’s only Thursday and a bit difficult to say.”
“I like Monaco, it’s good fun,” added Grosjean, who last year stormed through the field in GP2. “The car is going well at the moment and I enjoy the track, so it’s important to see what we can do later on. It’s important to get good running and have a car that you are confident with because it makes a huge difference at the end of the session.”
The Enstone-based team, then known as Renault F1, last celebrated victory in Monaco when Fernando Alonso comfortably took the chequered flag six years ago.