Raikkonen expects Lotus resurgence in Singapore

2013 Singapore Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Monza, 2013Kimi Raikkonen expects a better weekend for Lotus in Singapore as their car is more competitive in high downforce trim.

“After these two weekends with zero points it?s nice to get back to a circuit we expect to be more suited to our car,” said Raikkonen.

“We seem to go better at high downforce circuits that?s for sure. The car actually worked surprisingly well at Monza during the race so it was a shame we lost so much time at the start. After getting the new nose, our race pace was not too bad.”

Raikkonen says he has “unfinished business” at the track where he is yet to finish inside the top five: “I enjoy the circuit but have not yet had a podium.”

“That doesn?t mean I’m not quick there as I’ve been told I still hold the lap record from 2008. I crashed while fighting for fifth place that year, finished down in tenth in 2009, and took sixth last season, so I want more this time.”

However he feels dry conditions would be better for Lotus: “We saw rain last year in Singapore and it?s no secret that our car sometimes struggles in wet conditions. It?s something we?ll deal with if it happens, and as always the weather is the same for everyone.”

This will be Raikkonen’s first race since his impending return to Ferrari was announced. “Hopefully it means I won?t be asked so much where I?m driving next year,” he said, “but maybe it means more questions.”

“For my racing this season it doesn?t make any difference. I?ll keep pushing at every race to get the best result I can.”

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27 comments on Raikkonen expects Lotus resurgence in Singapore

  1. MB (@muralibhats) said on 13th September 2013, 15:40

    Last time when he confirmed the next year contract, he won in Abu Dhabi. Will it be a Deja Vu here? Fingers Crossed.

  2. The car actually worked surprisingly well at Monza during the race

    I’ve seen many people say this. Can anyone tell me why so?

    • @wsrgo he was setting similar laptimes to the lead Red Bull of Vettel at times during the race.

        • But I bet Vettel had quite a bit at reserve still, since he didn’t need to push 110% all the time, as oppose to Raikkonen and Hamilton. I bet 10 quid that Vettel would’ve posted faster times had he been in the same situation.

          • @lari likely, but his pace was still pretty decent. The car still seems pretty crap in qualifying, but it’s a good racer.

            What Lotus seem to do is always make the wrong call n strategy (or at least to an extent: they have been quite good at making up places in the races with 2 stops as appose to 3 for example). They have a fundamentally fast car and a super consistent driver at the helm. Why then are they consistently falling short of wins? It has to be operational, in tandem with their Ferrari-esque qualifying and un-Ferrari-esque starts.

          • I think they make quite a few tactical mistakes during qualifying, but I also feel they think they can make up more places in race than qualifying and thus setting the car up with race in mind. They have been better in races than qualifying in general which would support that. Why they come short of wins in general? Well, they are just not quite good enough, either they need to risk more in race and up the pace in qualifying but that might end up same result anyways, just a few less positions gaines in race since they start up higher. Afterall, they are 4th fastest car in general so it’s really hard to fight for wins when there’s 6 drivers from the top3 teams fighting for it too. So in conclusion, I’d say they make quite a bit of mistakes, but also their car just isn’t winning material for whatever reason since they have to sacrifice so much in qualifying in general for the race.

        • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 14th September 2013, 2:28

          @vettel1 Whoa, really? I must have have missed that.
          It’s sad that Lotus are failing to exploit their strengths (i.e. race pace in warmer conditions), and Raikkonen’s ability to run fast laps consistently over a lengthe of some laps in a race. I quite like the team, but somehow the outfit doesn’t seem like a frontrunner. They’ve had a truckload of errors in 2012-13, and their only saving grace had been the car. But with engineers moving off to Ferrari, things are looking dim for them again.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 13th September 2013, 16:47

        @vettel1 I’m getting a bit sick of this. At some point every weekend, the Lotus looks stellar, and yet it is spending most of its time at the moment floundering at the back end of the top ten, and yet after every race David Croft concludes, ” Well Vettel won, but if X hadn’t happened, Raikkonen looked like he could of challenged Vettel.” Operationally, Lotus are the complete reciprocal of Ferrari in 2012. They clearly have a car with a strong sweet spot, but they spend their time either failing to exploit it, as in Germany, or struggling to find it.

        On a track a specific as Singapore, do you really think that a team that is seemingly just chancing upon effective setups will be able to effectively dial their car in? I can’t see it somehow. I think we may see a strong Lotus in Suzuka, but realistically is anyone going to be able to beat Sebastian Vettel in the RB9 on his favourite track? No. Lotus, as in 2012, are looking set to spend the season attracting the attention of aerodynamists and engineers with a fundamentally fast and thoroughly well designed car, but failing to capitalize on it. Shall we list the races that Lotus could have realistically won? Bahrain ’12, Valencia ’12, Hungary ’12, Spain ’13 and Germany ’13. Kimi, you made the right decision…although saying that, when did Ferrari last arrive at a grand prix with the out-and-out fastest car? Italy ’10 in my opinion. At least Ferrari won that race though…

  3. That’s interesting, as Singapore isn’t a particularly high-wear track, nor is it particularly aerodynamic stability-based (which seem to be Lotus’ strengths). It’s much more of a point-and-squirt circuit, which I suppose does suit the Lotus in a sense (as Brundle regularly says it has a great front end the E21) but there’s a lot of traction zones, which it doesn’t seem to like.

  4. Hamilfan (@hamilfan) said on 13th September 2013, 16:10

    Oh how I wish Ferrari , Mercedes and Lotus up their game a notch just to give us some entertainment and not just a vettel weekend . I long to see Hamilton , Rosberg , Alonso , Raikkonen fighting at the sharp end of the grid with vettel . I hope some developments are relevant to next year so they would try them this year . I know , I know , Vettel is doing a stellar job and all . This is just a hopeful lament from a fan who has to contend with a dearth of f1 entertainment compared to last year’s first 7 races and the Brazil thriller.

  5. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 13th September 2013, 16:31

    Sometimes you have to wish for an engine or alternator failure. Otherwise the WDC will just go to Vettel.
    And boy, how cool would it be for Kimi to enter Ferrari as double champion?

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 13th September 2013, 16:35

      I think this 53 points gap will be the biggest Vettel will have, from now on I expect Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton to start getting closer but in the end I’m afraid it won’t be enough.

      • OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 13th September 2013, 16:49

        @mantresx yes, it’s a little too late to do it this year. Next year can prove totally different.
        Ad as a Vettel fan, don’t think I don’t get bored when he is 10 to 15 seconds away from the 2nd. I’m happy for the result, but bored for the way he gets the result.

        • Same feelings: it’s boring mainly because you never see him fighting battles on track. All the action has to come from elsewhere.

          He is an incredibly effective but very dull winner!

  6. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 13th September 2013, 17:01

    Resurgence can be just a point for Kimi, given his DNF and out-of-points in the last 2 races. If Lotus can get back to the level showed in Australia, THAT would be impressive and important.

  7. Whats the point of this resurgence?

    WDC seems wrapped up already

  8. I’ve been a Raikkonen fan since his first race with Sauber, and I have to say that his time at Lotus has been the most frustrating one to watch. Even at McLaren, with all the reliability issues, you could (almost) always count on the car being fast and the possibility for a win was always there.

    With Lotus you never know what to expect from them. They are often very fast in practice, but then in qualifying they are a complete letdown. Then, in the race they are again very fast, but have had to start too far down, and winning becomes almost impossible. And of course the many bad strategical decisions don’t help.

    Is the car reliable? Absolutely. But it’s just not fast or consistent enough to really ever challenge for the title.

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