Kimi Räikkönen will start from fourth on the grid and Romain Grosjean sixth after qualifying for the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix. Romain posted the seventh fastest time of the day, but was promoted one place after a penalty for Ferrari driver Felipe Massa.
On a warm and dry day at the Circuit de Catalunya the E21 proved pacey and reliable, with both drivers proceeding through Q1 using only the hard compound tyres.
The Mercedes, as we’ve seen before, seems to be pretty fast in qualifying but hopefully in the race we can turn it around. Our race pace has been pretty good all year so let’s try and get on the podium. I’ll have to make a good start, then let’s see what happens.”
Romain Grosjean, (E21-02. Q: P6, 1:21.308. FP3: P4, 1:21.069): “We did a good job today throughout qualifying but on my last lap I made a mistake into turn one, so I decided to back off and save the tyres. Otherwise, I think we could have done a bit better and maybe sit one or two rows further towards the front.
I was happy with the car and all the work we’ve done since Friday. For tomorrow, we will see what happens as the competition is very tight. As we have seen, conditions are variable this weekend and once more the tyres should be key.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
How was qualifying for the team? "We’re pretty happy with today’s performance. We made some changes from yesterday then had a productive morning validating them on track. It was a reasonably straight-forward qualifying session with both cars saving two sets of the medium tyres for Q3 and no real dramas to speak of. Unfortunately Romain had a lock-up on his last lap, otherwise he would have been right on Kimi’s pace, but to have the slower of our two cars starting from P6 certainly isn’t a cause for concern."
Looking at race strategy, does the new hard compound or allocation of the hard and medium present any issues? "It doesn’t cause us any problems. The new hard compound seems better suited to this track than the previous version, certainly with the temperatures we’ve experienced here. It works well for us. The allocation of the hard and medium compounds is not a life changing scenario either."
What’s possible in the race? "P4 and P6 starting positions are pretty decent for us when you consider the race pace and tyre management we’ve been able to show so far this season. There’s certainly the potential to have a very good race tomorrow."
Lotus F1 Team