Kimi Raikkonen is optimistic that the Lotus will prove more suited to the Nurburgring than it was to Silverstone this weekend, but does not expect to be in the pole fight.
After a quiet British Grand Prix, from which he still might have taken second had his strategy been different, Raikkonen was in the top five in both Friday sessions in Germany.
“It is more or less the same car as we had last week. I think part of it is for sure the circuit, it is a bit better [for Lotus],” said Raikkonen. “It is a more high-downforce circuit and probably suits us better than the low downforce [tracks], and also it is a long time since we used the soft tires on a normal race circuit, which was at Shanghai. For some reason they seem to be a bit better for us.”
He said a top-six spot is the most Lotus can expect for qualifying, but is more optimistic for the race.
“The front four cars will be very fast in qualifying, but the race is always a different story,” Raikkonen said. “I think the weather will get much hotter, so that should only help us.
“If we can put our cars in the top six tomorrow then that is a very good starting place, then we have to see where we end up in the race. We have to work on the cars a bit to get it a bit better — the long runs felt bad but the car wasn’t with the right setup.
“I think you can expect more or less similar to what we have done in previous races, where we qualified and we were a bit better in the race.”