Kimi Raikkonen sure Lotus learned tyre lessons from Chinese Grand Prix slump

Kimi Raikkonen says Lotus is ready to apply the valuable lessons it learned at the Chinese Grand Prix - where he tumbled down the order in the closing stages because of tyre degradation

Kimi Raikkonen sure Lotus learned tyre lessons from Chinese Grand Prix slump

The Finn had been running in second place towards the end phase of the Shanghai race, but his two-stop strategy backfired when he could not hold off the cars behind him. He eventually finished 14th.

But ahead of the Bahrain race, where he starts 11th after electing not to use up a set of fresh tyres to get him through to Q3, Raikkonen says he is optimistic Lotus will get things right this time out.

"We understand a little bit more," he said about tyre strategy. "We did a small mistake to stop too early, but it is not like we didn't know the risk - because we did.

"Maybe I could have gone a bit longer on the second set, but I didn't have a very good understanding of when the tyre was going to drop off a lot. Looking at the others some of them ran very long on the last set and that was interesting, so we took the chance and it happened."

Raikkonen remains open-minded about whether or not the Lotus tyre strategy will pay off, as a number of other teams also elected to keep fresh rubber rather than go all out for better grid positions.

"You want to be higher up, but sometimes you have to take the chance," he explained. "We didn't go through but we start 11th with a new set of tyres, so looking at Romain [Grosjean] in seventh there is not much difference with the new tyres. We will see after the race if it works out or not."

Raikkonen was unsure, however, about what was possible for him in the race - judging by his position on the grid and the performance of Lotus over the weekend.

"It is difficult to say from yesterday but we didn't destroy the tyres and really in the last race it is not that our car is worse than others, it is just that we ran too long with the tyres," he said.

"I will see how it works out but for sure this race is harder on tyres than any other race. I don't know, we will try and do the best that we can do.

"We don't know what happened to the others and how fast they are in the race, so you cannot just say that you are probably going to finish at this distance.

"In the past you knew what was going to happen in the normal race conditions, but now it is different so hopefully we will be okay."

shares
comments
Nico Rosberg says he goes into Bahrain Grand Prix in better shape than he started Chinese race

Previous article

Nico Rosberg says he goes into Bahrain Grand Prix in better shape than he started Chinese race

Next article

McLaren duo say Red Bull's resurgence comes as no surprise

McLaren duo say Red Bull's resurgence comes as no surprise
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Team Lotus , Lotus F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future Plus

The clues Hamilton’s F1 contract afterthought gives to his future

The Formula 1 world reacted with surprise when it learned Lewis Hamilton’s long-awaited new Mercedes deal guarantees his presence on the grid only until the end of 2021. Both parties claimed publicly they were happy with the arrangement but, asks MARK GALLAGHER, is there more to it than that?

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again Plus

How a harshly ejected Red Bull star has been hooked by racing again

Driver-turned-DJ Jaime Alguersuari lost his love for motorsport when he was booted out of Formula 1 just as he was starting to polish his rough edges. Having drifted from category to category then turned his back on racing altogether in 2015, he’s come full circle and is planning a return in karts for fun

Formula 1
Apr 17, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Plus

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021