2012 Canadian Grand Prix
Lotus intend to put their disappointing Monaco Grand Prix result behind them in Canada.
Team principal Eric Boullier said: “We didn’t achieve the results we wanted, or the results it looked like should have had.
“It’s difficult to achieve a good result if one car doesn’t make it to the first corner, and that’s what happened to Romain [Grosjean]. It was a racing incident, but that doesn’t make it any easier for us to stomach as it was clear he had good pace all weekend.
“Kimi [Raikkonen] never quite got everything hooked up, and in the race he was unable to push as he struggled for grip. We can’t get too hung up on this: it was one weekend in twenty. Hopefully we deliver better in the remaining 14 races.”
Grosjean said: “It took me a couple of days to get rid of my disappointment from Monaco. It was such an early exit and it was my home race where I really wanted to go well in front of all the fans.
“We had the car to be able to be challenge for a strong result. Everyone knows this, but that’s motor racing sometimes.”
Raikkonen’s steering trouble
The E20′s steering system has been a concern for Raikkonen during the season. He did a single lap in first practice in Monaco before asking to have his steering changed again.
He said: “We tried something different for the special challenge of Monaco and it didn’t work for me.
“It’s impossible to test how something will work at Monaco without going to Monaco. We’re not allowed open testing and the roads would be too busy for a Formula 1 car anyway. I’m happy with the basic setup, though it’s still an area I’m working on with the team.”
Technical director James Allison added: “Monaco demands a specific steering setup which entails different suspension components to enable sufficient steering lock to be employed. In addition, we tried a higher geared steering setup for Kimi.
“You can’t try this in advance so the practice session was used with this new setup, but it was evident very quickly that this setup was not suitable. The change takes sufficient time to mean we started it immediately in the first practice, but he knows the track well.
“We could also see Romain’s pace despite a lack of F1 experience in Monaco. Kimi struggled with both the car and the tyres throughout the weekend and I would think it would have been a troublesome event for him with or without having run in every session. Our base steering set-up has got Kimi on to the podium, but we’re still working on refining it to get it exactly to his liking.”
Allison added it was unclear whether Grosjean would have suffered the same loss of pace early in the race that Raikkonen did: “I think the most difficult thing to judge from the last race if whether what we saw from Kimi would have been mirrored by Romain had he not retired so early in the race.
“Nothing we saw on Thursday or Saturday seemed to suggest that it would have done, but if he had suffered similarly with tyre degradation then it would have been a difficult race for him too.”
He said the smooth surface in Monaco may have played a role in the E20′s tyre degradation problems: “Probably the most unusual thing about Monaco is the smoothness of the surface – which is more noticeable than at any other venue – and the E20 has generally performed best at circuits with rougher tarmac.”
The team should gain more insight into that this weekend, he added: “Montreal is a total contrast to Monaco, however it’s another circuit which is further towards the smoother end of the spectrum in terms of track surface, so it will give us a chance to see how much this may have affected performance in Monaco, and whether we can get the business done under these kinds of circumstances.”
2012 Canadian Grand Prix
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Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT