Lotus move on from Monaco disappointment

2012 Canadian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Lotus intend to put their disappointing Monaco Grand Prix result behind them in Canada.

Team principal Eric Boullier said: “We didn’t achieve the results we wanted, or the results it looked like should have had.

“It’s difficult to achieve a good result if one car doesn’t make it to the first corner, and that’s what happened to Romain [Grosjean]. It was a racing incident, but that doesn’t make it any easier for us to stomach as it was clear he had good pace all weekend.

Kimi [Raikkonen] never quite got everything hooked up, and in the race he was unable to push as he struggled for grip. We can’t get too hung up on this: it was one weekend in twenty. Hopefully we deliver better in the remaining 14 races.”

Grosjean said: “It took me a couple of days to get rid of my disappointment from Monaco. It was such an early exit and it was my home race where I really wanted to go well in front of all the fans.

“We had the car to be able to be challenge for a strong result. Everyone knows this, but that’s motor racing sometimes.”

Raikkonen’s steering trouble

The E20’s steering system has been a concern for Raikkonen during the season. He did a single lap in first practice in Monaco before asking to have his steering changed again.

He said: “We tried something different for the special challenge of Monaco and it didn’t work for me.

“It’s impossible to test how something will work at Monaco without going to Monaco. We’re not allowed open testing and the roads would be too busy for a Formula 1 car anyway. I’m happy with the basic setup, though it’s still an area I’m working on with the team.”

Technical director James Allison added: “Monaco demands a specific steering setup which entails different suspension components to enable sufficient steering lock to be employed. In addition, we tried a higher geared steering setup for Kimi.

“You can’t try this in advance so the practice session was used with this new setup, but it was evident very quickly that this setup was not suitable. The change takes sufficient time to mean we started it immediately in the first practice, but he knows the track well.

“We could also see Romain’s pace despite a lack of F1 experience in Monaco. Kimi struggled with both the car and the tyres throughout the weekend and I would think it would have been a troublesome event for him with or without having run in every session. Our base steering set-up has got Kimi on to the podium, but we’re still working on refining it to get it exactly to his liking.”

Tyre degradation

Allison added it was unclear whether Grosjean would have suffered the same loss of pace early in the race that Raikkonen did: “I think the most difficult thing to judge from the last race if whether what we saw from Kimi would have been mirrored by Romain had he not retired so early in the race.

“Nothing we saw on Thursday or Saturday seemed to suggest that it would have done, but if he had suffered similarly with tyre degradation then it would have been a difficult race for him too.”

He said the smooth surface in Monaco may have played a role in the E20’s tyre degradation problems: “Probably the most unusual thing about Monaco is the smoothness of the surface – which is more noticeable than at any other venue – and the E20 has generally performed best at circuits with rougher tarmac.”

The team should gain more insight into that this weekend, he added: “Montreal is a total contrast to Monaco, however it’s another circuit which is further towards the smoother end of the spectrum in terms of track surface, so it will give us a chance to see how much this may have affected performance in Monaco, and whether we can get the business done under these kinds of circumstances.”

2012 Canadian Grand Prix

    Browse all 2012 Canadian Grand Prix articles

    Image © Lotus F1 Team/LAT

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    16 comments on “Lotus move on from Monaco disappointment”

    1. If Kubica was at Lotus (minus the crash), Lotus would be ahead of Mclaren in the WCC, Grosjean crashed 3/6 and its not good enough, Kimi has outraced his team mate 5-1

      1. Grosjean crashed 3/6 and its not good enough

        Technically, Raikkonen has only out-raced him 2-1, because you can only really count events in which both drivers finish. Especially since Grosjean’s retriements clearly weren’t his fault. Grosjean was pushed off in Melbourne by Maldonado barging his way through, was pushed off again in Malaysia by someone who was never spotted on camera, and was squeezed at the start in Monaco by Alonso and Schumacher. So I think it’s more than a bit unfair to blame him for retiring when other people play rough.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys – I agree, but then again inexperience at the start has cost him too; it could be partially his fault. No other driver has had as many first lap incidents which are race ending this season.

          1. @vettel1 – I don’t think his Melbourne and Monaco retirements were really his fault. In Melbourne, he was clouted by Maldonado at Turn 13 on the opening lap. He simply had nowhere to go, and by the time he could do anything about it, Maldonado struck him. If Grosjean was guilty of anything, it was not getting enough traction down coming out of the corner.

            As for Monaco, Grosjean got squeezed at the start. Lewis Hamilton was slow off the line, and both Alonso and Grosjean went left, but Schumacher had tried to go around the outside. I’d hardly write that one off as inexperience, since it could have happened to anyone – you just can’t go three abreast (much less four) into Ste. Devote.

      2. to use an old cliche @um1234, If is F1 spelled backwards.

      3. Yes, and if my aunt had nuts etc …

      4. His rookie mistakes have been disappointing, something that one could only assume would be nailed out with more races.
        To me his performance as a rookie has showed potential of race winning results not too far off into the future.

        I remain optimistic and hopeful about his performance and am expecting him and the team to be very strong at Canada which features long straights which the Lotus has been exceptional on.

    2. Cut the guy some slack! Don’t forget that he has barely started a dozen races in his career.
      Yes, he has been caught out by crashes, his fault or not, which is typical of a rookie. Drivers with a lot of experience tend to avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but this is a sense that has to grow.
      Personally, I think he has been amazingly quick and has redeemed himself completely of the Briatore-induced bashing that was his 2009 season.
      He seems to be a lot better than I judged him before and I think that given some time to hone his skills, he will be consistently up there with the best. Provided his car keeps up with development, of course.

    3. Fernando Cruz
      1st June 2012, 17:17

      I rate Grosjean as the best of new drivers. I think he has the potential to be among the very best in a near future. I rate him even higher than Hulkenberg, di Resta, Perez, Kobayashi, Ricciardo, Vergne, Maldonado and Senna. But the truth is that Grosjean has made (until now) more race ending mistakes than every other driver this year.

    4. Monaco could have easily been Grosjean’s weekend.
      He was way faster than Raikkonen in all sessions, with a little bit of luck he could have won it.
      Unfortunately in Q3 he didn’t have a good S2, losing a possible front row start. Then he had a slow start and we all know what happened.

      I don’t know, before Q3 I was sure that Romain would win it, with Kimi struggling to get some points.
      It was his golden chance to be accepted as a very talented driver by the media and, of course, a good boost of confidence for him. A real shame, I hope that he wins some races in 2012. I think he deserves it.

      1. Fernando Cruz
        1st June 2012, 18:44

        The Lotus was not good enough for him to win. He was way faster than Raikkonen in Monaco but sooner or later he would suffer with tyres. Lotus needs hotter temperature to be competitive.

        1. Lotus need some fresh brains for race decision making, so far that is what cost them most points.

    5. Lotus are forgetting where they came from just 6 races back. Grosjean is very promising, yes indeed. But it is stupid promoting him and forgetting that their real asset is Raikkonen.
      6 races in there is no engineer at Lotus with the flair to fix the steering the way Kimi wants it, and Boullier seems to be briefing some journos behind the scenes that the team are finding Kimi troublesome. Boullier is not a clever man. Someone should tell him to get behind his star driver.
      Anyone remember Bahrain 2012? A certain win for Kimi was thrown away because they didn’t think to tell Grosjean not to hold up KR. Stupid.

      1. Fernando Cruz
        1st June 2012, 18:51

        In Bahrein Raikkonen was faster and the team was wrong (Grosjean tyres were not as fresh as Raikkonen’s when the finn was behind him) but in Monaco Grosjean was much quicker and so was the Lotus leading driver. Let’s not forget Grosjean raced in Monaco last year (even if in a GP2) while Raikkonen didn’t. That is one of the reasons the finn was so much slower than the french.

      2. Agree absolutely. I’d say Raikkonen is too good for Lotus. He joined because that was the only seat available. He is much more a McLaren type of pro. He needs top rate engineers to follow up on his requests. The lotus people may never fix the steering for him
        However, Kimi won’t care too much about grosjean succeeding. He’s too cool for that.!

    6. I fear Lotus may end up being this years team that F1 forgot. I’m positive they have the car to attack and that should be more evident in Montreal than it was in Monaco, owing to their usually high top speed. However, things just seem to transpire against them.

      I don’t agree with bringing up Kubica all the time, he’s good, but not THAT good. I think they have a more than capable line-up in Raikkonen and Grosjean, they just need to execute their races better. Monaco was a freak accident and in no way down to Grosjean’s lack of experience. Wrong place, wrong time.

    Comments are closed.