sábado, julho 21, 2012

Greased Up – German Grand Prix, Qualifying

A difficult qualifying session for Lotus F1 Team, with mixed conditions and a greasy track surface resulting in a wild ride for Kimi and Romain; the latter dropping out of qualifying at the second hurdle for the first time this season.

Kimi Räikkönen, E20-05
  • Position: Q1 – P1 / Q2 – P10 / Q3 – P10
  • Best Time: Q1 – 1:15.693 / Q2 – 1:39.729 / Q3 – 1:45.811
  • Laps Completed: Q1 – 8 / Q2 – 6 / Q3 – 6
Romain Grosjean, E20-04
  • Position: Q1 – P16 / Q2 – P15*
  • Best Time: Q1 – 1:16.685 / Q2 – 1:40.574
  • Laps Completed: Q1 – 11 / Q2 – 7
*Romain starts P20 after a 5 place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
For a full run-down of the session’s final standings, visit our results page.

Qualifying 1 – Key Moments:

  • 0mins: Both cars straight out on medium tyres; rain predicted
  • 5mins: Kimi pits for fresh rubber; mediums again
  • 13mins: The Finn emerges for a third run on hard tyres, goes P1
  • 15mins: The Frenchman does the same; struggles for grip initially
  • 20mins: Chequered flag; Kimi P1, Romain P16


Dark clouds loomed large over the Hockenheim circuit as the first part of qualifying kicked off. Both E20s went straight out on white marked medium compound Pirelli tyres, keen to get early laps in before the arrival of rain which seemed inevitable later in the session.
Romain had a nervy few moments midway through running; taking a significant amount of kerb around the circuit and demonstrating fantastic skill to hold a major slide out of the first turn. Kimi meanwhile put the pit crew through their paces with a practice stop before emerging on the same rubber.
With just over five minutes remaining, both drivers joined the action once more; remaining on the medium tyres to take a final swing at the sharp end of the grid. Kimi rocketed to the top of the times with his first lap; beating a number of drivers using the soft compound in the process. Despite struggling by his usual standards, Romain put together a solid stint to bring himself up the order and joining his team-mate in the next phase.

Qualifying 2 – Key Moments:

  • 0mins: Rain; all cars out to get a time on intermediates before standing water emerged
  • 7mins: Kimi P8, Romain P15 at the halfway stage; rain intensifying
  • 11mins: The Finn starts his final run, closely followed by the Frenchman; both on full wets
  • 12mins: Romain off track at T13; pushing hard to find time in terrible conditions
  • 15mins: Session ends; Kimi P10, Romain P15


True to form, a sprinkling of rain began to fall just before the second part of qualifying began; thunder rumbling and lightning flashing across the sky. The circuit became instantly packed as every driver aimed to put a time in on green marked intermediate tyres before standing water developed on the track; Kimi and Romain among the masses.
At the halfway stage, the Finn had sneaked into the top ten while the Frenchman sat in the drop zone as the rain began to intensify; both drivers returning to base and awaiting their next move.
With just minutes to spare, both drivers tentatively crept out onto the circuit sporting the blue marked full wet tyres. Times however were not to improve as track conditions deteriorated; Kimi sneaking through to the pole position shoot out in P10, Romain making an off track excursion and subsequently being knocked out in the second stage for the first time this season.

Qualifying 3 – Key Moments:

  • 0mins: Kimi out on full wets; Romain’s session over
  • 2mins: Solid first effort for the Finn as the rain eases
  • 7mins: Fresh full wet rubber for the Iceman as he goes for one final push
  • 10mins: Final result; Kimi P10, Romain P15


With his team-mate eliminated from the final phase of qualifying, Kimi flung the sole remaining E20 out of the pits on full wet tyres as the last ten minutes of the day disappeared from the board.
A solid initial run for the Finn before returning to base for fresh rubber; one last stint in mind before the session concluded.
This final effort yielded a decent improvement for the 2007 World Champion, it was not enough to improve on his position; the E20s set to start the German Grand Prix from tenth (Kimi) and twentieth (Romain; five place penalty from his initial placing of fifteenth). 

Fonte: Lotus F1 Team

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