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Lotus in position for title?

2012-07-31 07:46

GREAT DRIVER, SURPRISINGLY GOOD CAR: Lotus' drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean have performed admirably in 2012 and should be taken seriously by top F1 teams.

BUDAPEST, Hungary - Formula 1 teams have conceded that Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus should be considered genuine title contenders after their success in the 2012 Hungarian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen finished a second behind race-winner Lewis Hamilton of McLaren and his Lotus team mate Romain Grosjean was third.

It was Raikkonen's fifth podium of 2012 and moved him to fifth in the Drivers' standings, 48 points behind leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, while the team is third in the Constructors' standings, one point behind McLaren and 54 from Red Bull.


Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali was not surprised by Lotus' pace and believes the team could be in a stronger position had it made the most of opportunities earlier in the season.

Domenicali said: "I was not surprised by Kimi. I've always thought him a very good driver and a World champion - which you don't do unless you have something special. Lotus didn't collect the points it could have - the team has had good cars since the beginning so could have had more points.

"They seem to be very gentle on the tyres, too, and will be a very good team in the second half of the season."

Red Bull boss Christian Horner admitted concern about how much of a threat Raikkonen would be in the title race. "The cars have been quick all year, and there are two good drivers, so Kimi is a factor in the Drivers' championship.

"He is only one point behind Lewis [Hamilton], so it would be foolish to underestimate any of our rivals - there's still a long way to go."

McLaren's sporting director Sam Michael added: "Yeah, they're fast, but worrying about them doesn't do anything. You have to make your cars faster."

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