MONZA, September 7th, 2013 (F1plus/R. Baillie).- A disappointing qualifying session saw both Lotus drivers fail to get through to Q3, though the Enstone based team are hoping things will improve tomorrow.
The team performed well on Friday but struggled for pace and downforce on Saturday which resulted in both drivers starting outside the top 10, something which hasn’t happened since the 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix when Vitaly Petrov and Nick Heidfeld drove for the team.
Kimi Raikkonen said that the car just wasn’t fast enough and that the circuit didn’t suit their car.
“It just isn’t our kind of circuit and layout where we have to run small wings. The car behaved pretty okay but we just didn’t have the downforce to go fast through the corners with our low drag package.” he explained.
The Finn, who has only finished on the podium once at Monza, is not expecting a huge improvement for tomorrow’s race but will do the best he can.
“Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit better but I’m not expecting any big surprises. In any case we will do the best we can.”
Teammate Grosjean was surprised by the difference between the teams performance on Friday and Saturday.
“I was quite surprised at how it went in free practice yesterday, but today was simply a different story. The aerodynamic configuration for Monza isn’t an easy one and it didn’t go the way we would have liked it to go.” the Frenchman explained.
Like his teammate, he too is hoping for a better day tomorrow and says the team will "do the best we can".
Earlier this weekend Lotus tested the long wheelbase on Raikkonen’s car but decided not to use it for the remainder of the weekend, although they felt it was a quicker package.