Today’s placings make for the team’s second best qualifying performance this season, after qualifying second and sixth for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Kimi Räikkönen (Q3: P4, 1:30.676): “My car was okay today, but in my Q3 lap on the new tyres I struggled to get the fronts up to temperature which meant I lost quite a bit of time in the first sector; probably because there was traffic on my out lap meaning I couldn’t push as much as I wanted. For sure it didn’t help and we probably should have been P3 today, but P4 is still a pretty good place to be for the race.”
We struggled a little getting the front tyres working this morning but the car felt really good during qualifying and we improved with every lap.
It was a strong performance for the team with Kimi P4 as well, so we’re happy to be back at the front after paying a few unwanted visits to the lower positions recently.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director:
How was qualifying for the team? "We’re reasonably happy with today’s performance. Of course, you always want more and we could have got a little more from both cars in the final qualifying session as neither driver posted a good first sector. That said, with P4 and P5 on the grid, we’re happy."
How’s it looking for the race? "We know that our race simulations yesterday looked good and the forecast is for high temperatures tomorrow, so I think we can look forward to having a strong race."
How are the tyres working here? "The new rear construction with the Kevlar belt doesn’t appear to be hurting our performance and we’re as competitive as we thought we’d be here so we’ve no worries on that front."
Any particular strategy considerations for the race? "The medium compound looks to be the favoured one for the race as the soft has a reasonably high performance degradation; such that we have seen Ferrari opt to start on the medium compound as their approach to managing it. It will be interesting to see how that approach works; from our side, we’re pretty happy with starting on the soft."
Lotus F1 Team