JULY 21, 2012
Raikkonen still upbeat over Lotus race prospects
Despite qualifying just 10th on the grid for the German GP, Kimi Raikkonen still thinks that Lotus can challenge the front-running teams so long as he has a decent first lap and keeps out of trouble.
Raikkonen was fastest of all in the dry Q1 session, despite using the prime tyre, some 0.38s quicker than the Ferrari of eventual pole position man Fernando Alonso. In the wet Q3 session, however, the Finn found the Lotus a handful, totally lacking in grip and he ended up slowest of the final 10, more than 5s from the pace-setting Ferrari.
"There was just no grip at all," Raikkonen said. "I was aquaplaning on the straight and having to back off. It felt like you were going to crash everywhere."
In the dry, however, the E20 was a different animal and Hockenheim is one of the easier circuits on which to overtake, especially on the long run down to the hairpin at T6, which is the activation zone for the first time useage of DRS at the track.
"That should help and overtaking should be possible if we can get through the first lap without any problems," the '07 champion said.