• Lotus

Raikkonen to stick with short wheelbase

ESPN Staff
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Kimi Raikkonen will retain the shorter wheelbase Lotus for the remainder of the season after using it in Abu Dhabi.

Since Lotus switched to a longer wheelbase car at the Italian Grand Prix in September, Raikkonen has struggled to match team-mate Romain Grosjean and has been especially hampered in qualifying. He switched back to the shorter wheelbase in Abu Dhabi and was originally fifth on the grid - ahead of Grosjean - before being excluded following post-qualifying checks.

Despite crashing out of the race on the opening lap as well, Raikkonen said he's much happier with the old wheelbase and will retain it for the rest of the season.

"It has a better feeling for me and seems to make it easier for me to get more of what I want from the car," Raikkonen said. "We've been trying to get rid of understeer to get the car more as I want it and the shorter car helps with this."

Team principal Eric Boullier added running two different specification cars wasn't too challenging for the team.

"It's a matter of setup and getting the car exactly as the driver wants it," Boullier said. "Romain prefers and gets more out of the longer wheelbase, while Kimi prefers and gets more out of the shorter wheelbase. We are able to run with both configurations without issue so this is what we're doing. If either driver wants to change configuration again then of course we can do this, but it's not a quick job."

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