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Lotus were tipped by many for qualifying successes in Monaco this weekend. Instead, Romain Grosjean and Kimi Räikkönen start from only fourth and eighth positions in Monte Carlo. In the case of the Finn, he has been plagued by issues all weekend.
On Thursday, Räikkönen - with a James Hunt helmet design - requested a major steering change and for that reason lost the entire first practice session. Later in the afternoon, the second period was washed out by rain and, as a result, he has not perfected his setup and has been struggling with oversteer.
“For sure we’re not very happy after that session,” says the 2007 World Champion. “Since the first practice we’ve been a little bit behind where we should have been and we’ve been trying to catch up. The car is fine; the biggest problem today was trying to get the tyres working as it seemed to be a bit tricky to get them up to temperature. I could have been a bit faster on my best lap, but I went a little bit too deep in the Swimming Pool section. It’s a bit disappointing but you can’t get it right every time.”
Grosjean had been at the sharp end in all three practice sessions prior to qualifying.
“We are not as high on the grid as we wanted to be, but things were very tight today,” explained the Franco-Swiss driver. “I did a very good lap in the first part of Q3 but then I couldn’t improve on my second set of tyres. That was a shame because our strategy was perfect for the last part of qualifying. The traffic wasn’t too bad but I missed out in Sector 2.
“I think pole position was within reach. P4 is not exactly where we wanted to be but the race will be long. It’s Monaco, it will be difficult; nonetheless, we know that the car is quite good on high fuel and with the tyres, so let’s see what we can do and put the best strategy into place.”
The Enstone-based squad is celebrating its 500th Grand Prix start this weekend.
|2.||M. Webber||Red Bull||01:14.381||19|
|10.||S. Vettel||Red Bull||no time||24|
|24 May||Grosjean accepts responsibility for crash|
|23 May||Räikkönen hails afternoon setup changes|
|23 May||Räikkönen in no hurry to secure '14 seat|
|2012 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix|
|3 Jun '12||Video of the Day: Grosjean's Monaco crash|
|31 May '12||Interview with Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg|
|30 May '12||Webber rubbishes Monaco team orders talk|
|12 May||Räikkönen: Second is always disappointing|
|12 May||Räikkönen predicting better race pace|
|10 May||Räikkönen satisfied after 'normal' Friday|
|15 May||Mixed feelings over penalty points system|
|12 May||Five drivers for Canada FOTA Fans' Forum|
|5 May||Grosjean: My season starts now|
|25 May||Rosberg secures pole position in Monaco|
|25 May||Van der Garde gets second speeding fine|
|25 May||Latest F1 photos: Saturday in Monaco|