Kimi Raikkonen is pleased with his starting position in the Korean Grand Prix and suggested that Lotus’ fortunes are on the rise.
He shot down the idea that his car’s new exhaust had played a significant role, however, suggesting that the main reason Lotus had improved since Friday was set-up progress.
“It’s good for us to be higher up,” said Raikkonen, who will start fifth at Yeongam after his best qualifying result since August. “We could have been in a similar position in the last one but I spun. It helps us, it will make us a bit better in the race. It’s a safer and better position for the start.
“But the good thing I think is that the laptime is closer to the front, so that should give us better chances in the race because before we’ve been further away in laptime so we knew that it was going to be very difficult. Now I think we have a better chance to score better positions.”
Lotus brought in a major new upgrade ahead of the Korean race, including a Coanda-effect exhaust, but Raikkonen wouldn’t credit his success to the change. “Today was just better overall,” he said. “I think the exhaust hasn’t changed since yesterday.”
Raikkonen was also quick to deny he’d gained any advantage after Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso stopped on the track prompting yellow flags, insisting he’d obeyed the warning signals.
“I lifted in there. It’s normal,” he said. “Then I went faster than that with used tyres on the next qualifying lap I did.”