|© Andrew Ferraro/Lotus
Kimi Raikkonen’s strong results relative to his slower teammate have been helped by the Lotus’ admission that it is favouring the Finn over Romain Grosjean, so far in the campaign.
Raikkonen started seventh at the season-opener in Australia and went on to win the race while the Frenchman finished tenth, dropping two places from the start.
In Malaysia, the 2007 world champion set the seventh fastest time in qualifying while Grosjean was further down in 11th, although the latter was severely compromised as he was caught out by the rain.
“He’s not had an easy weekend, because we haven’t been able to provide two cars in exactly the same configuration,” said technical director James Allison. “He was running a step behind Kimi in terms of his aero package
“At Sepang, once again, we only have one set of kit and we’ve chosen to run that with Kimi and Romain is disadvantaged for that,” he pointed out. “It’s a feature of not having in-season testing that you try to upgrade the cars as fast as you can and generally speaking, that means that you’re always going to have one set of kit ahead of the second set and that almost inevitably means that one driver gets to try it before there is a second one available.
“We will always try to get two sets available but not always possible. So he’s had a difficult set of circumstances and he’s also up against a teammate who is really firing on all cylinders so those are the two things,” he added.