Lotus express their 'disappointment' with Kimi Raikkonen's driving in the Indian GP
Grosjean forced off the road before claiming impressive third place
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 27/10/13 9:16pm
Lotus have expressed their "disappointment" with Kimi Raikkonen after the Finn forced team-mate Romain Grosjean off the road during the closing stages of the Indian GP.
With the Frenchman running on fresher rubber and the Ferrari-bound Raikkonen struggling for grip after an ultra-long middle stint, the two Lotuses went wheel-to-wheel for the final podium spot with just two laps of Sunday's race remaining.
As Raikkonen robustly defended his position against the far faster Lotus, Grosjean slithered off the track before recovering to pass the stricken E21 of his departing team-mate and claim third despite starting out from 17th on the grid.
Expletives were heard to be exchanged across the car-to-radio, with an unidentified member of the Lotus team telling Raikkonen: "Kimi, get out of the f***ing way."
"Don't f***ing shout at me," replied the Finn. Presumably, he still knew what he was doing.
Raikkonen did not speak to Sky Sports F1 after the race but Grosjean did. Asked by Natalie Pinkham why he might have been nerfed off track, he replied: "No idea. Ask him, though I'm not sure he'd answer.
"We could have lost two cars. Honestly, I don't know - it's not my problem. I overtook him and thankfully we did not lose any points."
While the language wasn't quite so colourful afterwards as Lotus dissected their race, the team's unhappiness with the Finn was abundantly clear.
"It was a little disappointing, to be honest. He knew his tyres were finished and there was no need to have a battle," the team's Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane told Ted Kravitz. "Romain was racing hard and I'm sure we'll have a chat in the office about it."
Asked for his view, team boss Eric Boullier tread a delicate diplomatic balancing act as he commented: "It was a bit of a misunderstanding because Kimi didn't expect Romain to be so fast and we then had to cool them down on the radio. When you have ten laps to go, you never know how much your laps might go."
It's understood that, with Grosjean's upsurge in form since the summer break all-but guaranteeing his retention, the Frenchman is set to be partnered by either Pastor Maldonado or Nico Hulkenberg next year with Lotus' decision on their 2014 line-up imminent.
Raikkonen eventually finished seventh and set the race's fastest lap after making a late pit stop for fresh tyres.