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Lotus preview quotes – 2012 Bahrain GP

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a

“I don’t think the Bahrain International Circuit will present any particular problems for us. It’s likely to be quite hot and our car didn’t like the cold so much when we were in China so maybe the heat will suit us better. The track has a mixture of corners and it’s quite fun to race on. There are some opportunities to overtake so let’s see what happens.

“I have had a second and three third places in Bahrain which is okay. It is good to race there. We won’t know how strong the car will be until we get there. Maybe we will get the upgrades on the car to work properly and we will be able to go faster than in China. Let’s see. A podium should be possible and I think it has been at all the races we’ve been at so far. We don’t know exactly how good the car will be until we get there, but we don’t expect any problems.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus
2010 Qualifying – n/a, 2010 Race – n/a

“I raced there with the ART Grand Prix team and we took pole position, fastest lap and the win – it’s always nice to get a full house! I’ve also got quite a lot of experience there from 2010 when I was a test driver for Pirelli, so hopefully this will help me get up to speed quickly in the E20. It’s true that the configuration has changed, but the 2010 layout was only used for that season, and will return to its previous format for this year. I guess I’m quite lucky really, as I’ve driven the track in both forms so there will be no problem at all there.

“Bahrain is a good track. It has some big braking which I quite like, some interesting changes of direction like the double-left in the middle of the racetrack… I think the E20 will be nice there. The balance we have is pretty good and I’m sure we can achieve something strong. I want to be able to put a proper qualifying and proper race all together. I think the car will be good there. The weather should stay the same throughout the weekend – hopefully!”

Eric Boullier, Lotus team principal
“Our aim will be to have a trouble-free weekend and show what we can do with the E20. This is the minimum, and unlike what happened at each of the first three races, there should not be any rain to make our life difficult in Bahrain! Having both cars in the top ten would be a nice improvement. Our potential is plain to see. I don’t like being in sixth position in the constructors’ championship, but we should not remain there for too long!”

James Allison, Lotus technical director
“We go to Bahrain knowing that we’re going to have more consistent temperatures with the tyres! That will allow us to assess the upgrade package with a more level set of conditions. We’ll get as much of it on as we can prove is good. There are a couple of new bits coming for the car, such as a new pushrod. We will benefit from more time with the bits we took to China but ultimately didn’t use for the race.

“We’re racing back on the original configuration as last used in 2009. It’ll be the first proper test of our braking systems for the year. We don’t anticipate any problems, but it will be on where we need to pay a little bit more attention to wear and temperature. It’s also a circuit where we need some good traction – Turn 1, Turn 10 especially as it’s very slow speed. We have identified this as an area where the E20 needs some work so it will be interesting to see how we perform.”


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