• Chinese Grand Prix

Lotus frustrated by lack of podiums

ESPNF1 Staff
April 15, 2012 « Schumacher praises Rosberg for 'perfect victory' | Chinese GP curbs Alonso's optimism »
Kimi Raikkonen lost ten positions in two laps once his tyres went off © Sutton Images
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Lotus team principal Eric Boullier was frustrated not to have a car on the podium at the Chinese Grand Prix after Kimi Raikkonen's strategy backfired and Romain Grosjean finished sixth.

Raikkonen was running second 12 laps before the end of the race, but his two-stop strategy required him to make a set of medium tyres last half the race (28 laps) and his pace dropped off as his tyres degraded. He eventually finished outside the points in 14th while Grosjean finished sixth on a two stop strategy with a 24-lap final stint.

"It is getting more frustrating for us as we are clearly very close to achieving a very good result," Boullier said. "Twelve laps before the end of today's race we had one car in P2 and one car in P5 with no more pit stops to go. Unfortunately, we were a little bit too aggressive with our strategy.

"As soon as we understood some cars were doing three stops it was clear there was potential for us to finish on the podium, but we were not expecting the tyre wear to be as high as it was. For Romain the strategy worked; for Kimi it did not."

Raikkonen added: "We had good pace in the race, we tried a different strategy and it didn't pay off today; it's as simple as that."

Grosjean scored his first points for the team this year and said the result had given him renewed hope for the season ahead.

"The car felt great and the team did an amazing job to give us such a big improvement from Friday, so I'm especially happy for the guys to be able to finish the race and get some good points on the board. To be up there fighting with McLaren and Red Bull is a great feeling and I'm happy to have got my season started properly. We've had high hopes since P3 on the grid in Melbourne, and now after a few setbacks it's time to aim higher. There's always room to improve and hopefully from here we can aim for the top five and eventually podiums. We'll take things step by step but I'm feeling confident for the rest of the season ahead."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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