Formula 1

Lotus Fail to Live Up to Expectation in Monaco Qualifying

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Raikkonen, who many tipped for pole, could only qualify eighth today in Monaco - Photo Credit: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic

Raikkonen, who many tipped for pole, could only qualify eighth today in Monaco - Photo Credit: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic


Both Lotus drivers said that they had not qualified as far up the grid as they had hoped or expected today in Monaco in a close-fought session.

The top nine cars in Q3 were separated by less than a second, and within that group Romain Grosjean qualified fifth and Kimi Raikkonen was eighth. Grosjean will start from fourth due to a grid penalty for fastest man Michael Schumacher.

“We are not as high on the grid as we wanted to be, but things were very tight today,” said Grosjean, who many expected would have a good shot at getting pole today. “I did a very good lap in the first part of Q3 but then I couldn't improve on my second set of tyres. This was a shame because our strategy was perfect for the last part of qualifying. The traffic wasn't too bad but I missed out in sector two.

“I think pole position was within reach. P4 is not exactly where we wanted to be but the race will be long. It's Monaco, it will be difficult; nonetheless we know that the car is quite good on high fuel and with the tyres, so let's see what we can do and put the best strategy into place.”

Raikkonen almost went out of qualifying in Q1, and had to use a set of supersoft tyres early on to ensure he progressed through the session. He still thinks that there is a decent chance of a good result tomorrow, however.

“For sure we're not very happy after that session,” said the Frenchman. “Since the first practice we've been a little bit behind where we should have been and we've been trying to catch-up. The car is fine, the biggest problem today was trying to get the tyres working as it seemed to be a bit tricky to get them up to temperature.

“I could have been a bit faster on my best lap, but I went a little bit too deep in the swimming pool section. It's a bit disappointing but you can't get it right every time. At a normal race track you would be able to gain positions through overtaking, but in Monaco this is difficult. That said, anything can happen here so hopefully we can achieve something good tomorrow.”

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