The Lotus camp was split between joy and the question of ‘what could have been’ after the Korean Grand Prix.
The Enstone based outfit crossed the line second and third, a nice step up from their Qualifying positions. However while Romain Grosjean was happy with third place, his team-mate was left wondering if a better Qualifying session could have put him on the top step of the podium.
“Second place is okay and a good result for the team, but we’re here to win and having to fight your way to the front from a bad starting position is not ideal,” Raikkonen said. “Qualifying was pretty awful for me, but it’s difficult to say whether a better grid position would have made the difference. Sebastian was faster than us at the end; not massively, but a little bit for sure and his tyres were fresher too so I think it would have been tough to catch him in any case. We were closer to the Red Bull today than we have been in some races, but not close enough.
“People might say it was good luck with the safety car, but sometimes these things go with you and others they go against you. We made up some places even before that happened, and if we hadn’t had the speed then we wouldn’t have been in a position to take advantage. You could see at the end that we had more than enough pace to keep the others behind, so I think it’s deserved.”
Meanwhile, Grosjean was happy with third but maintained that the double Safety Car stint hurt his race, “It’s a fantastic result for the team. Of course, one step higher on the podium would have been better for me and two steps better would have been superb, but it didn’t quite work out that way. Our battle with Lewis was good and our pace was great, but the two safety car periods hurt our attempts to battle for the win.
“After the restart I should have been in front of Kimi on the road, but it was my mistake which let him past. I went a bit wide in Turn 15 and got on the Astroturf – which is very slippery – and that let him get a run on me. Then there were yellow flags into Turn 3 so I couldn’t take the place back straight away.
“Of course, I was asking the team to let me past Kimi as I was on fresher tyres, but they left us to race which is our philosophy of fair play. You lose so much downforce in sectors two and three and obviously our cars are pretty close on performance so it’s pretty hard to pass, but we have to be very happy with a double podium.”