Date: 24th July 2012 at 9:59am
Written by:

When the chequered flag fell on Sunday evening in Hockenheim, Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen was not stood on the podium celebrating a third place finish.

But two hours after the race had ended Kimi was promoted to third position following a post-race drive through penalty given to Sebastian Vettel for his illegal move on McLaren’s Jenson Button during the closing stages of the race.

That penalty equated to a 20 second time penalty which dropped the Red Bull down from second to fifth, elevating the Finn to the delight of his team, although Kimi would probably have been disappointed for missing out on the free champagne.

It capped off another disappointing weekend for Lotus, who have yet to pick up the results that their car appears to deserve.

In Free Practice One, the Lotus cars were well off the pace, Romain Grosjean was tenth 1.535 seconds slower than Button, while Kimi was 2.236 seconds down.

In Free Practice Two, Grosjean was again quicker than his team-mate but still 0.944 seconds slower than Maldonado, Kimi was again around two seconds a lap slower.

In Free Practice Three, in dry condition Kimi was looking a lot more comfortable and was ahead of his team-mate and was only 0.224 behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, but unfortunately for Raikkonen it didn’t stay dry throughout qualifying and after getting through to Q3, Kimi settled for tenth place in the wet conditions.

We weren?t fast in the wet today for some reason and we need to look at why that was. I wasn?t able to get any grip from the tyres, even when we tried a fresh set of wets half way through the final qualifying session. In the dry the car is very good and in the races our car usually has strong pace. Let?s hope for some dry weather tomorrow and see what happens.? he told formula1.com after stepping out of the car.

The luck was on Kimi’s side on Sunday as the rain did stay away, but the real pace of the Lotus was still failing to shine through, until that clouds cleared and the temperature picked up.

Once again in the hotter temperatures the Lotus begins to really perform and during the latter part of the race the Pirelli tyres and the track came to Kimi and he was able to finish the race in fourth position.

Maybe if we had found a bit more pace in the wet yesterday we could have started higher and pushed the leaders, but it is what it is. For sure we were hoping for a bit better here, but the car worked well all through the race and we still brought home some good points for the team so there are some positives to take to the next race.?

With Lewis Hamilton retiring from the race with damage to his car from an early puncture, Raikkonen is now fourth in the Formula One World Championship on 98 points, just 12 behind reigning title holder Sebastian Vettel who is third.