At Lotus, after the race in Bahrain, they are now aware that it is crucial to understand medium-hard tires as soon as possible if they want to help Kimi Raikkonen reach the starting places, from which he will be able to reach victories more easily.
The Finn is only ten points behind the leader in the championship after four races, Sebastian Vettl, but it seems that Lotus' E21 race car has some problems in races where Pirelli offers racers harder tires. Lotus team boss Eric Boullier believes the situation with tires is slightly different than it was last year, as qualification problems are related to one type of tire.
“It’s more of a balance issue when we put on medium hard tires,” Boullier told Autosport. “In China, our racers had problems because the race car was difficult to drive. We need to focus more on the behavior of medium-hard tires and find a way to handle them better in both cold and hot conditions. ”
The medium-hard tire mix was the one on which racers set up fast laps in qualifying, while in Australia the super soft mix was a better choice, and in China it was a soft one. Boullier believes Lotus have advanced in terms of qualifiers compared to last season. The fact that they have achieved a solid result with soft rubber in China fills him with optimism that they will also solve the problems with medium-hard tires.
“We know that we can succeed and we must succeed regularly. We are definitely in a better position than last year. We have progressed compared to last season, and we also have the same racer. So it is clear that we can be better than last year. "
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