Kimi Raikkonen is set to stick with the short-wheelbase Lotus for the remainder of the Formula 1 season after some encouraging signs from Abu Dhabi.
Although the Finn endured a tough weekend, having threatened to not drive, being forced to start from the back and then crashing out at the first corner, there were still some flashes of promise on track. His decision to go back to the shorter wheelbase was fuelled by the fact that the longer-wheelbase version used since the Korean Grand Prix had not suited his driving style as much.
The switch appeared to pay off, with Raikkonen delivering his best qualifying performance since the German Grand Prix prior to his exclusion. Lotus team boss Eric Boullier said it was likely that Raikkonen would stick with that configuration from now on.
“I may be going too far too fast, but it looks like he prefers the short wheelbase, while Romain likes the long wheelbase,” he said.
Raikkonen said in Abu Dhabi that the choice of the car was not circuit dependent, and that he would have to commit to a choice before each race weekend.
“If you go from one configuration to another it is not a very easy thing to do, as it is not easy to change during the weekend,” he said. “So whatever we choose to do, we have to stick with it for that race.”