Date: 30th May 2012 at 9:17am
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Lotus headed into the Monaco Grand Prix as one of the favourites for the race victory.

Not simply because everyone wanted to see a sixth different winner from a sixth different team but because in previous races Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean had shown good race pace in previous Grand Prix.

They were a genuine contender, but it simply didn’t pan out that way, they didn’t qualify as well as they would have liked and the race pace they thought they would have simply wasn’t there.

It was a pattern which the team had experienced before in Spain, but rather than it being a strange anomaly, Lotus have been able to put their finger on the route of their problem and of course it’s the Pirelli tyres.

Pirelli’s latest tyres look likely to be the biggest headache any of the teams will encounter this season, with drivers and teams being forced to continually hunt for the sweet spot of optimum performance of the tyre and their car.

Everything from a couple of degrees drop in track temperature, to cloud cover appears to alter the set-up of the car and that’s what has been the crux of Lotus’ problems. When the track temperature lowers, so does their pace.

‘It was worrying seeing in the race our pace getting worse, so it is very related to the weather conditions,’ Lotus boss Eric Boullier told Autosport Magazine.

‘When you know the tyres will degrade, what you want to do is design a car that will not degrade the tyres. But what we were not expecting is that because of this, which is a strength in one hand, it also became a weakness when the temperatures come down.’

This means that in Spain and Monaco, Lotus were unable to show their real race pace, but also explains why they looked so good at Bahrain when the temperature was high.

It seems that Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean will be praying for a mini heat-wave in Canada.