Lotus still able to win European Grand Prix
23 June 2012 – Lotus are still tipped by many for victory this weekend, as Formula 1 descended on Valencia for Round 8 of 2012. After a dramatic qualifying session on Saturday, Romain Grosjean and Kimi Räikkönen line up in fourth and fifth positions on the street circuit.
Not only is the E20 generally regarded as a nimble car, but Lotus enjoyed their best races of the season to date in the similarly hot conditions of Bahrain and Barcelona.
“It was very close in qualifying, especially in Q2, so it’s good to be fifth on the grid,” Räikkönen began. “The car felt good. If we could have improved just a little bit on my last lap then we could have gained a couple of places, but it is an improvement on last time out so I’m very happy with that. We found a few good things with the setup this morning to make the car easier to drive. I’m looking forward to tomorrow. The car usually goes well in the race when it’s hot, so let’s see what we can do.”
Grosjean is also expecting great things at the track on which he made his F1 debut three years ago; on top of this, he won last year’s GP2 Feature Race.
“Today we got pretty much the most out of the car that we could have,” the Franco-Swiss began. “P4 is a good position for the start of the race but of course you want always more and to do better. Sebastian (Vettel) did an unbelievable lap and today we could not have matched it. We have improved our qualifying performance but there is still room to do better.
“Tyre degradation will be more important than what we saw at the last race. There will be 57 laps in hot conditions on Sunday; we will see what we can do for a good race tomorrow.”
Thursday of this week marked the 25th anniversary of the last Lotus victory in Formula 1, which was Ayrton Senna’s success at the Detroit Grand Prix of 1987.