Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion turned TV pundit, thinks Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen would be a good bet for this year’s championship.
“I said before Australia that it would be Alonso and Hamilton for the title, now I think I would bet everything on the Spaniard and the Finn,” he is quoted by France’s Auto Hebdo. The Enstone based team, however, had a much less impressive weekend in Malaysia, just a few days after Raikkonen’s Melbourne win. “It’s true, we didn’t have a good race at Sepang,” technical boss James Allison is quoted by Speed Week. “But the damage was done in the first few laps, when we fell half a minute behind, but Romain (Grosjean) was only 35 seconds behind Vettel at the end. “Sepang didn’t show what our car can really do,” he added.
However, Grosjean and Raikkonen have both spoken about how good the black E21 is, whilst expressing fears Lotus might not be able to keep up with the development pace of the better funded top teams. Allison insists: “The most expensive thing is bringing the car to the track, not developing it. “We’ve also noticed that it is relatively easy for us to find promising developments in the wind tunnel. And we have lots of ideas about how to develop mechanically.”
Team boss Eric Boullier told Brazil’s Totalrace: “I think Romain has all the same upgrades as Kimi for China. “We have parts arriving for every race and will keep working hard. It will be interesting.”
Info: GMM, Image: Lotus F1 Team / LAT