Lotus were celebrating their second double-podium finish of 2012 today after Kimi Raikkonen finished the Hungarian Grand Prix in second, just ahead of team-mate Romain Grosjean.
Despite this excellent team result, neither driver was entirely satisfied. Raikkonen thought the win was in his grasp today – although Lewis Hamilton was the one to stand on the top step in Budapest – and Grosjean ran second for much of the race before being overtaken by his Finnish team-mate.
“It's a shame we couldn't quite get the win but it's a good result for the team and we'll keep pushing to make that final step,” said Raikkonen. “My start was not too bad but then we had some issues with the KERS and I lost a place to Fernando [Alonso]. When we got it working again we were stuck in the pack so it was a bit frustrating, but once we were in clear air we could push and it looked like we could make up a few places in the second stops.
“The team said it would be very close with Romain, but it was okay in the end. We managed to catch Lewis but it was impossible to pass.”
Grosjean had complaints about backmarkers – one Mr. Schumacher on this occasion – which he feels cost him the chance to challenge Hamilton for victory in the closing stages.
“It's a good result for the team, but to be honest I'm a bit disappointed,” said the Frenchman. “We had a good battle for the lead with Lewis all through the first two stints, but then I got stuck behind Michael [Schumacher] who didn't respect the blue flags at all which cost me a lot of time. Because of this I lost a place to Kimi, and at the same time a possible chance to fight for the win.
“It's very hard to overtake here ; every time I came close to someone in front I would lose a bit of front end grip which made it impossible. Still, that's racing and we've take home a lot of points for the Constructors' Championship which is a real positive.”
Team principal Eric Boullier was delighted with the result, and feels that Lotus are getting ever closer to that elusive victory.
“Both cars on the podium end a pretty good weekend for the team,” he said. “For everyone back at Enstone we must pay credit as they work so hard for results like this, but seldom get to taste the champagne at the track. I'm very happy that Romain came back after a tough weekend in Germany and I'm very happy to see Kimi fighting for the win. Our new approach to qualifying is delivering. We qualified better this weekend and we chased the leader of the race for many laps. On a different track layout which allows overtaking I think we could have won this race.”