Kimi Raikkonen downplays longer-term impact of lost Lotus laps at Barcelona test

Day Two gearbox problem followed Day One telemetry glitches

By James Galloway in Barcelona.   Last Updated: 20/02/13 7:15pm

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Kimi Raikkonen has stressed that Lotus's repeat failure to complete more than 50 laps at Barcelona won't make-or-break their season, but does concede they need more mileage on the E21.

Having set the target of completing more miles on Day Two than the 44 laps they managed on Tuesday owing to a telemetry fault, Lotus actually managed to rack up one fewer as a problem with their car's gearbox in the morning forced them to complete a lengthy change of the unit.

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The delay meant Raikkonen ended the morning session with just four laps on the board, and although he was able to take that total up to 43 once back on the circuit in the afternoon and still set the day's third-fastest time, Lotus prop up the mileage chart half-way through the second test.

Raikkonen's personal frustration was compounded by the fact he now hands the E21 over to Romain Grosjean for the final two days of this week without having completed anywhere near a race simulation - although the ever-phlegmatic Finn attempted to play down the predicament when speaking to reporters afterwards.

"We want to do laps and of course we want to run the programmes that we planned but sometimes you can, sometimes not, it's normal in tests," the 2007 World Champion said.

"Do we need [more laps]? Yes it's good, but it's not like if we cannot manage to run 150 laps it's going to change our season. So we'll try to do more laps. Sure we want to do race distances, but we'll see what happens in the next two days."

No doubt doubling Lotus's frustration is the fact that, when out on the circuit, the E21 looks one of the most competitive cars - Raikkonen finishing his two days in the car second and third fastest respectively despite in total completing fewer laps than most of the field managed on Day Two alone.

The paradox was not lost on the team's Trackside Operations Director Alan Permane, who now hopes the returning Grosjean will get the chance to complete a race simulation on Thursday.

"Our target was more laps today and we've missed that. We were able to diagnose a problem with the gearbox, but rectifying this took quite a lot of time," Permane explained.

"This severely affected our plans for the day but yet again we were able to show we have a quick car. On the positive side, there were no further problems with telemetry as we experienced yesterday and the second gearbox ran reliably in the afternoon.

"Tomorrow we will try to rack up the laps with evaluation work and a race distance simulation."

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