Alternative strategy fails to pay off for Lotus
22 July 2012 – Lotus experienced a case of ‘what might have been’ in Germany, with Kimi Räikkönen attempting a different strategy to his rivals which failed to pay off. At the same time, Romain Grosjean failed to score when finishing a race for the first time this season.
Räikkönen began the 67-lap encounter on Pirelli’s Soft compound tyres, which he kept on-board for a second stint after his first pit-stop. The error of the plan was revealed when the Finn travelled much quicker on the Medium compound later in the afternoon.
“We did the best we could from the position we started,” said the Finn, who finished fourth from tenth on the grid but had targeted the podium. “Maybe if we had found a bit more pace in the wet yesterday we could have started higher and pushed the leaders, but it is what it is. For sure we were hoping for a bit better here, but the car worked well all through the race and we still brought home some good points for the team.”
Grosjean’s race crumbled on the opening lap, as he made an emergency pit-stop.
“We were on the back foot from the outset after the grid penalty and nothing went right today,” the Franco-Swiss explained. “It’s a shame, as I had a good start and took a few places in the first corner. Then on the straight there was contact and that was the race pretty much ruined for me. I’m not sure exactly what happened – we’ll have to look at the on-board footage to get a better idea – but my car was badly damaged with a broken front wing and a puncture. By the time I managed to get back to the pits the race was as good as over.”
At the halfway point of the 2012 campaign, Lotus has dropped back behind McLaren to fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship.