For 2012, Lotus signed two drivers who had last driven in Formula One in 2009. Kimi Raikkonen was already a World Champion, in 2007, and had a wealth of previous Formula One experience. Romain Grosjean had driven in only seven Grands Prix, finishing five times and scoring no points.
It was obvious at the start of the season that Raikkonen was expected to lead the team. Grosjean was meant to be the rookie, there to learn and develop with the guidance of his more successful team-mate. The season has not quite worked out like that.
After seven races, Raikkonen is two points ahead of Grosjean in the Drivers’ Championship. But consider that Raikkonen has finished every race, where Grosjean has crashed out three times. Grosjean is averaging 13.25 points per finish, compared to a fairly lowly figure of 7.86 for Raikkonen. In fact, Grosjean’s performance when he crosses the finish line surpasses that of championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who averages 12.57 points per finish.
Raikkonen has struggled to get comfortable in the car, having issues in particular with the steering wheel. Grosjean has been quick from the outset, and looks more at ease with every passing race. Neither Lotus driver has stood on the top step of the podium in 2012, but with a car as quick as the E20, the first win cannot be far away. The question is: who will be the winning driver? At the moment, Grosjean may be a better bet.