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2013-01-30 11:23

TAKING ON RIVALS FOR THE TITLE: Kimi Raikkonen has the 2013 title in his sights but does Lotus have what it takes to trump Red Bull, Ferrari and McLAren?

LONDON, England - Kimi Raikkonen set his sights on a championship challenge with Lotus after the F1 team unveiled their new car.

Raikkonen said: "It's clear from working with them that they are racers.
 
"You can see in their history that they've won championships. Nothing I saw last year made me think that another championship was impossible," he said of the former Renault and Benetton team.

"The team have beaten everyone before, there's nothing to say they can't do it again."

The 33-year-old veteran is the 2007 world champion with Ferrari and made an impressive comeback in 2012 after two years in rallying.

Raikkonen won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2012 and finished third overall in the championship with seven podiums.

GREAT THINGS AHEAD

Team principal Eric Boullier said great things were possible for Lotus, who finished fourth overall in 2013, with the pairing of Raikkonen and Frenchman Romain Grosjean.

"Our ambitious plan to turn ourselves into one of the top teams in Formula One is coming to fruition and now we need to harness this with strong and regular podium results," he said.

Renault won championships in 2005 and 2006, while predecessors Benetton took drivers' titles with Michael Schumacher in 1994 and 1995.

The original Lotus team, whose name lives on with the current Enstone outfit even if there is no direct connection, won seven constructors' crowns between 1963 and 1978.


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