Double Delight – The 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix
A second double podium finish of the season for Lotus F1 Team, with Kimi leading Romain home at the Hungaroring after superb drives from both to bring a significant haul of points back to Enstone
Blistering heat and clear blue skies provided the perfect backdrop for the Hungarian Grand Prix, with tension on a knife edge in the Lotus F1 Team garage as the countdown began to a race with plenty of potential for good results.
Just to add to the pressure, a second formation lap enforced by race control brought cause for engine temperatures and heart rates alike to rise; Charlie Whiting not happy with the grid and demanding another tour of the track.
When the green lights eventually went out, a closely fought but clean start saw Romain bravely defend his second position against Sebastian Vettel into turn one, while Kimi – caught up in a tightly bunched pack – slipped down one place to sixth.
Flying in the early stages, the Frenchman remained glued to the back of leader Lewis Hamilton as the pair rapidly began to pull away from the pack; trading fastest laps along the way. The Finn meanwhile remained boxed behind Fernando Alonso; a lack of KERS hindering any attempts to pass the slower Ferrari in front.
The Lotus F1 Team pairing returned to base for their first change of rubber on laps nineteen and twenty respectively; a slow getaway for Romain costing him the change to close on the McLaren ahead, while good work from the mechanics combined with a couple of quick in-laps helped Kimi jump Fernando Alonso to re-take fifth place.
Finally unleashed from behind the Spaniard, the Finn immediately charged clear of the pack and began to close down the battle between Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button for the final podium slot.
Both E20s were flying in the middle phase of the race; edging closer to the cars in front as the front of the field increasingly closed up. The second round of stops however was where the race really began to heat up.
Stunning pace at the end of his middle stint brought Kimi right into the fray; jumping both Sebastian Vettel and his team-mate to clinch second place from the Frenchman in a heart stopping battle through the first corner.
With the pit wall breathing a huge sigh of relief to see both cars emerged unscathed from their tussle, the pair then proceeded to chase down the leading McLaren in flying formation.
With ten laps remaining, the front three were within just five seconds of each other; Kimi inching to within the DRS window of Lewis Hamilton and beginning to mount an attack on the McLaren as Romain kept a watching brief just behind.
Despite charging hard right to the death, a second double podium finish of the season would have to suffice as Kimi lead Romain home to take second and third respectively on a great day for the team.
Source: Lotus F1 Team