• Chinese Grand Prix - Qualifying

Raikkonen disappointed with pace of E20

ESPNF1 Staff
April 14, 2012 « Alonso hoping for rain on race day | 'Terrible first run in Q2' hampers Grosjean »
Kimi Raikkonen: "The speed wasn't where it should have been" © Sutton Images
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Kimi Raikkonen was disappointed with his car's performance during qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, despite securing his best grid position since his comeback with Lotus.

Raikkonen will start from fourth on the grid, but revealed that Lotus' updates for this weekend are not working and that the team had hoped to be closer to front of the grid than the 0.777s gap to Nico Rosberg.

"The grid position is okay but when you look at the times, I'm disappointed with the pace of the car today," he said. "We've gained a position after Lewis [Hamilton]'s penalty but the speed wasn't where it should have been, especially when you look at the pole time. We've tried some updates this weekend, but they haven't worked as we wanted so we've gone back to how the car was before.

"We go into the race less confident in the car than in the last two races, but knowing that we start from a higher position on the grid. Let's see what we can do tomorrow, we'll try to do the best we can and hopefully we can be higher up than we are on the grid, and that means a podium."

Technical director James Allison said Lotus would continue to work on the new package despite ditching it this weekend.

"We brought a new update package for the car and we weren't convinced by a large part of it yesterday. This meant we reverted almost entirely to our Malaysia specification which is why we have missed out on potential pace from the car. We hope to get all the new elements working soon."

Nevertheless, Allison is confident about Lotus' chances on Sunday.

"We have to take every race as it comes, but we've certainly seen that we've raced more strongly so far than the two Mercedes ahead of us, but that said we were a long way off the pole time, so they are clearly looking very strong. I'd like to think we can take the race to the other cars around us. We're confident in our starts and our tyre wear and race pace. It should be interesting."

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