Kimi Raikkonen is optimistic he and Lotus can be even stronger in next year’s Formula 1 world championship.
The Finn starred on his comeback season in the sport, winning the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, claiming seven podiums and finishing the year third in the championship.
Raikkonen believes there is still room for he and the Enstone-based team to improve however, particularly if they can hit the ground running in 2013.
“I think definitely it is easier now than it was in the beginning of the year, and it should be easier again next year,” Raikkonen said.
“We scored a lot of points but we know if we could have started the year stronger then probably we would still have been in the championship.
“I know the team next year, I know the business, so it should be an easier start for us.
“Hopefully we can build it up for next year.”
Asked about his success in 2012, Raikkonen said: “It has been OK, but for sure when you start getting good results you want to do it even better; you start expecting yourself to do better.
“We have been quite consistent – not the strongest, but consistent. That kept us in the championship for a long time.
“First though you have to build the car…”
The Finn paid tribute to the atmosphere of Lotus, saying it had contributed to his strong performances over the season.
“I think it is the whole thing together: there are always a lot of people who are involved,” he said when asked how beneficial team spirit had proved.
“It is team work and everybody tried to do the same thing, do the best we can and I think it has been a good atmosphere – and that helps.
“I always said this team is a bit different from the others I have raced before. It is all about the racing and less the politics, and it is a good place to be.”
Raikkonen admitted he had harboured some doubt before his return about his ability to push to the limit, but said such fears were assuaged as soon as he began driving the car.
“I never really thought I would lose it, that it would be more difficult,” he explained.
“Maybe the biggest question mark was if I could push as much on the limit as before, with a new team and new tyres, as things had changed.
“Since the first test though I felt comfortable with it; I was never worried by the racing.”
4 thoughts on “Raikkonen optimistic for strong 2013 season”
If Lotus do not get straight line speed sorted, then Kimi will not do better than he did this year. I think even he knows that.
This year the strong basis has built between Kimi & team. I´m sure, everybody in Lotus knows in which direction the next developments has to do! I hope, the engineers will switch on their “turbo button” and they can compose the winning car. The winning racer they have already!!!!
I think they just started copying Red Bull with the gearing in order to try to improve Qualifying. They were one of the fastest cars in a straight line during first part of the season. Second part, they were bouncing on a limiter all the time.
It does mean though, that car must improve, in order not to go to such extremes and compromise the car for the race.
All the best!
I strongly believe Kimi’s success in 2013 will depend on Lotus’ 2013 car. The Espoo man knows how to win races, but he needs good material to work with. This year was like a testing year for the Finn, because he needed time to get to know the team better. It was great to see him secure third place in 2012, so you can imagine what ‘the Iceman’ is capable of if the Lotus E20 car was more competitive. He has definitely been one of the best drivers of 2012 and hopefully next year we’ll see more of him…