A closely fought qualifying session at the Korea International Circuit saw Kimi Räikkönen clinch fifth position whilst using the team's new Coand exhaust system, while team-mate Romain Grosjean with start in seventh place on the grid for tomorrow's Korean Grand Prix.
We tried some different things on the car over the weekend and qualified in a reasonably good position, but of course you always want to go faster.
The new exhaust system feels good; you do lose a little horsepower from it but it's better on the aero side and you can't get something for nothing.
The gap to the cars at the front is not too much so we'll try to do what we can tomorrow."
Romain Grosjean (E20-03. Q : P7, 1:37.934. FP3 : P4 1:38.582): "It was a bit of a strange qualifying session for me to be honest ; In Q1 the car felt nowhere, in Q2 it was good, then in Q3 it wasn't fantastic either so we need to spend some time analysing what happened.
The track changed a little and the tyres felt slightly different so we need to understand that. For sure there will be a lot of attention on my start tomorrow ; I know my objectives and I think we're capable of a good result."
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: "It looks like our new package is working as it should."
How do you assess today's qualifying performance ? "We're reasonably happy with today's performance and it looks like our new package is working as it should. We've clearly taken a step forward and getting both cars solidly into Q3 is satisfying."
How did the new Coand exhaust system work? "We have made clear performance gains and there's still further improvement to come from it once we have optimised the set-up.
Kimi had great pace in Q1 to go through with a single run on the soft tyre whereas Romain needed a set of the super softs to be sure of getting into Q2, but from then on we were confident of getting both cars into Q3.
The advantage from the new Coand exhaust system on Kimi's car confirms that we will run it on both for the next race."
How do the different tyre compounds perform here? "After some difficulties with front tyre graining yesterday we now have both the soft and super soft compounds working well.
We've seen track improvement and have also found a better set-up to make improvements in this area. Pirelli say one stop is possible, which is something we'll have a good close look at."
Source: Lotus F1 Team