Here’s the long and short of it: Lotus will field the long wheelbase car for Romain Grosjean and the short wheelbase car for Kimi Raikkonen in Austin. For Kimi:
“It has a better feeling for me and seems to make it easier for me to get more of what I want from the car,” Raikkonen said.
“We’ve been trying to get rid of understeer to get the car more as I want it and the shorter car helps with this.”
But for Romain:
“It’s a matter of setup and getting the car exactly as the driver wants it. Romain prefers and gets more out of the longer wheelbase, while Kimi prefers and gets more out of the shorter wheelbase,” team boss Eric Boullier said.
“We are able to run with both configurations without issue so this is what we’re doing. If either driver wants to change configuration again then of course we can do this, but it’s not a quick job.”
As Sky Sports F1’s William Esler points out, Abu Dhabi’s 4th place finish being the worst Grosjean’s had since the team introduced the long wheelbase car, it’s easy to see why he’s sticking with a successful formula.