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'Comeback Kimi' hot for Spain

2012-05-05 16:18

SEPANG 2012: It turned out to be a wet race but Raikkonen (pictured) finished fifth. The race was won by Fernando Alonso.. :


LONDON, England - Kimi Raikkonen is determined to prove he is back to his best at next weekend's Spanish Formula 1 GP.

The 32-year-old Finn is rapidly earning praise as “the comeback kid” after taking a two-year break in World rallying. He was second for Lotus in April’s 2012 Bahrain GP (though he looked strong enough to win) and is now aiming for a 19th career win in Barcelona on May 13.

The race was won by Sebastian Vettel, and Romain Grosjean (Lotus) was third.


"I’m feeling good - all I want to do is race and win," he warned. "The car feels good everywhere we've been so far. We want to win GP's - we have a good car and we saw in Bahrain that it is good enough to win."

Raikkonen was speaking in a team preview for the 2012 race at the Circuit de Catalunya where he has won twice - 2005 for McLaren, 2008 for Ferrari. Despite being under no illusions about how close things are at the front of the grid he was equally confident that Lotus had given him a car capable of doing the job and that he could build on their second and third in Bahrain.

"I never had any doubts in myself and it is clear we have a good car so in some ways the podium could have come sooner," said Raikkonen."We had the car already in the first three races to be up there, but we made some small mistakes and it cost us a lot.

"I expect Lotus to be very competitive at Barcelona. It's going to be very, very close between the top teams. This is the only circuit where the teams have already tested with the 2012 cars and the set up is crucial as the track changes with the wind and temperature.

"All the teams have updates for the first European race, which makes it even more interesting and even tighter at the top."

Raikkonen believed he wouldn’t suffer any disadvantage through not attending the first major in-season test at Mugello in Italy. “We didn't have any major new parts to test and we don't race at Mugello so I was not crying when it was decided that I wouldn't test.”


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