Romain Grosjean drove a storming race, withstanding a drive-through penalty and a twenty second addition to his race time to finish in sixth position.
Kimi Räikkönen took second place at the Hungaroring to jump back into second in the Drivers’ Championship after a hot and hard-fought Hungarian Grand Prix. Kimi used a two-stop strategy for his sixth podium of the season, spurring the advances of Sebastian Vettel in the final laps.
The team was the second highest scoring in the Constructors’ Championship today, remaining in fourth place on 183 points, but closing the gap to Ferrari on 194.
Kimi started from P6 with a scrubbed set of soft tyres, changing to new medium compound tyres on laps 13 and 42. Romain started from P3 on a scrubbed set of soft tyres, changing to new sets of medium compound tyres on laps 13, 25 and 47. He made a pit lane drive-through on lap 37.
Kimi Räikkönen (P2, E21-03): “It was a good race and a good result for the team. The strategy worked well. We did two long stints on the tyres but they weren’t too bad and the car felt strong so it allowed us to make one less stop.
In the last few laps the rears were a bit on edge, but apart from that it was ok. Sebastian [Vettel] got the run on me a couple of times but luckily it was in places that you can’t really overtake.
The main positive is that we gained a few points to Seb in the Championship. For sure we could have maybe closed the gap a little more with a win, but anything we can get back will help. We’re only halfway through the season and it will be hard to catch up, but anything can still happen so we’ll keep fighting until the end.”
Romain Grosjean, (P6, E21-02): “For sure this is one that got away, but I’m very happy with my race and I honestly don’t think I could have done much more. Maybe the strategy didn’t quite work how we wanted, but the car felt really good and it was the traffic that cost us. Without this maybe there would never have been a drive-through penalty which for sure didn’t help.
I haven’t seen the footage yet and I thought it was a good move, but unfortunately the stewards took a different view. I’ve no problem with the time-added for the incident with Jenson and I apologised to him afterwards. This could have been the one for me, but we will just have to wait a little bit longer and keep improving like we have been recently to make it happen.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal: "Another good result for Kimi today. He drove very well and was backed up by a strong strategy to help him make the podium. Romain was very unfortunate in that we couldn’t quite jump Fernando [Alonso] in the pits which cost him a lot of time, plus the drive-through penalty cost him a far better result. He made a great move at a circuit where overtaking is difficult and he had no room to do anything else.
For us the Stewards’ decision was harsh. The most important thing to take from the weekend has been the pace of the car; this circuit is a bit special, and I think there will be some circuits where we have to work a bit harder, but I’m confident we’ll be consistently fighting for podiums at every race weekend in the second half of the season. Red Bull are a long way ahead, but we’ve shown today that they can be beaten so we want to keep pushing them all the way.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It was a great race today from Kimi – as always. We started the race intending a three-stop strategy, but as the race played out it became clear that a two-stop would give us better possibilities so we switched over to that strategy. Kimi drove superbly to look after his tyres but deliver exactly the pace we needed at the appropriate time.
He was rewarded by returning to second in the Drivers’ Championship. I feel really sorry for Romain for what appears to be a very harsh penalty for a fantastic overtaking move on Felipe Massa. Yes, he ran off the track, but he had nowhere else to go. It certainly seemed like good racing to me; were it not for the drive-through penalty, we would have had two cars on the podium again.”
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader: “We had high expectations after our strong qualifying positions. Kimi drove a fantastic race with an aggressive strategy of two pit stops which was successful with a podium second place. Romain was very fast all the weekend but with his penalty he lost any chance to get to the podium.
We controlled the engine temperatures during all the race and we demonstrated one more time that the Lotus-Renault package is really very fast. The summer break will be very good and we are looking forward to come back on track at Spa.”
Lotus F1 Team