Sepang showdown - f1 malaysian gp race report

Sunday, March 24, 2013 - 10:30

All-important points for Lotus amid a taut on-track thriller

The drama came thick and fast today, as the second round of the 2013 FIA F1 championship took place at the Sepang International Grand Prix circuit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Lotus gained vital early-season points in a race that finished with Romain Grosjean in sixth and iceman stablemate Kimi Räikkönen in seventh place.

With Kimi starting in P10 and Romain P11, both battled hard from the off in an assault that saw them slice their way up the grid. Tense wheel to wheel grappling and sure-footed dicery made for some gripping moves on what was a slippery surface during the first half of the race. The team retains its second position in the constructors championship, with Kimi also second in the drivers standings.

Kimi Räikkönen, P7, E21-03

"Although the car felt very good on Friday, yesterday and today have been pretty difficult. Since Saturday morning it has not been behaving as we expected for some reason, especially in the wet where we really struggled for grip. It was a tough race and I lost part of my front wing at the start which didn’t help, but at least we scored a few points which is better than coming away with nothing. If we can get the car back to how it was in Australia then I’m sure we’ll be at the front again."

Romain Grosjean, P6, E21-01

"I think we can be quite happy with the result today. It was a tough race, starting wet and finishing dry, but that’s what you expect in Malaysia. I spent a lot of time stuck behind Felipe [Massa] in the middle phase of the race and I’m sure if I could have passed him earlier then I would have stayed ahead, but by the end my tyres were finished so it was best just to let him through. It’s not the result we would have wanted at the beginning of the weekend, but at the end of the day it’s more points for the team and we’ll try to come back stronger in Shanghai."

Eric Boullier, Team Principal

"It’s not been the best day for us, but when you take into account our qualifying positions and the difficult start for both drivers I think the points we take for sixth and seventh is a solid result. Unfortunately with the conditions today we didn’t see the full potential of the car, and the time we lost at the start was always going to be difficult to catch up. To finish within a reasonable distance of the leaders was a good effort from both drivers and also the team in terms of our strategy. With a normal weekend I’m sure we can expect some stronger results."