Räikkönen: We can't challenge the leaders here
22 September 2012 – Despite being sure that his Lotus is quicker than it has showed so far this weekend, Kimi Räikkönen admits that the Singapore race will become a damage limitation exercise. The Finn, third in the Drivers’ Championship, will start only 12th on the grid.
Räikkönen’s Q2 elimination marks the first time since the Canadian Grand Prix in June that the 2007 World Champion has not featured in the top ten shootout.
“The car was much better overall today than it was yesterday,” he began. “We were quick with the used tyres but for some reason struggled for grip with the new ones in the second session and we were actually slightly slower. For sure, P12 is not the position we wanted; we don’t seem to have the speed to challenge the leaders here but the car is definitely quicker than that. We’ll see what we can do in the race.”
Team-mate Romain Grosjean, returning from a one-race ban after causing the pile-up at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix, managed the better starting slot of eighth.
“The result is not as good as we wanted, but this is a very hard track to get right and we’ve been struggling for ultimate grip throughout this weekend so far, so overall it was good to be in Q3,” said the Frenchman. “After Q1 and Q2 we felt positive but it didn’t quite come together in the final session. I pushed a little bit too hard on my last lap - it was pretty close but I don’t think I touched the wall…I’ll have to see if the Pirelli markings are still there!”
In the Constructors’ Championship with seven races to go, Lotus sits fourth overall and just nine points behind Ferrari for a top three position.