Lotus will hold talks with its drivers in Abu Dhabi having admitted it expected Kimi Raikkonen to make life easier for his teammate Romain Grosjean in their Indian Grand Prix battle.
Grosjean’s tires were in much better shape as he gained on Raikkonen by two seconds per lap in the closing stages as they fought for third.
The Frenchman was held out wide in his first passing bid, leading to a profanity-laced radio exchange in which the team urged Raikkonen to “get out of the way” while the Finn objected to being “shouted at” in fast corners. He subsequently moved aside.
Asked if Raikkonen should have moved aside immediately, team boss Eric Boullier replied: “They are free to race each other. It’s true that we maybe expected a little bit of an easier maneuver, let’s say.
“You are never happy when you see both cars fighting and one car going off so you just make sure everything is going in the team interest.”
Boullier believes the team now needs to sit down with the duo to discuss the situation.
“I’m going to speak to both of them in Abu Dhabi,” he said. “We are working for these guys to deliver, but there is a team behind them and you always have to think about the team.
“If Kimi’s tires would not have dropped off he would have been on the podium. We let them race, which is normal, but the tires dropped off and we tried to save the maximum number of points for Kimi. We had the fear of the tires dropping off for Romain. We had an engine issue as well when we had to switch off everything to make sure the engine would last to the end.
“There was a lot of stress behind which is not always easy to manage.”
Though Boullier said he understood Raikkonen’s stance, he thought the situation in India should have been handled better.
“Kimi is a competitor. He is racing everybody and I can understand this,” said Boullier. “But when you are racing in certain conditions, you are racing and I am fine with that. When the tires are dropping off and you are two seconds off the pace against your teammate, you try not to make a drama of this.”