• Indian Grand Prix - FP2

Raikkonen cautious on Lotus progress

ESPN Staff
October 26, 2012 « McLaren race pace a match for Red Bull - Hamilton | Track conditions blur pecking order - Alonso »
Kimi Raikkonen was fifth quickest in FP2 - ahead of both McLarens © Sutton Images
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Kimi Raikkonen believes Lotus is more or less in the same position it was in Korea following Friday practice for the Indian Grand Prix.

Having been held up by Lewis Hamilton for a number of laps in Korea, Raikkonen finished in fifth place, over half a minute behind race winner Sebastian Vettel. While the car looked more competitive on long run pace during FP2, Raikkonen felt that any gains Lotus had made was marginal.

"I wouldn't say that, I think we were probably eight tenths - what we are now - behind the Red Bulls in the last race," Raikkonen said. "So we've got a bit closer in qualifying, but I think they probably didn't make a perfect job in qualifying so I think we're more or less in the same position. The long run seems to be quite good but I wouldn't say it's anything special if we were on the same time with the others I think they are still faster than us. Maybe we are a little bit closer but that's our speed.

"It's always hard to say what they've been doing. I mean we were faster in one lap and then we don't know if they had mistakes or something. For sure we can improve on one lap but we are not far away from our maximum speed. So I hope we are faster than them; the car was working quite well, especially on soft tyres. The hard tyres were just a little bit difficult to warm up, but it got better in the end."

Raikkonen also said that he didn't notice any difference in performance from the Coanda-effect exhaust, other than a lack of speed on the long straight between turns three and four.

"The exhaust is the same; it doesn't feel much different. The circuit is not as grippy as it was in the last race so that's probably the biggest difference but our biggest problem is we're lacking quite a bit of straight-line speed, we're losing a lot, but hopefully in the next race we can improve that."

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