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Kimi cool on hot F1 return

2012-03-15 14:45

MELBOURNE, Australia - On the eve of his first Formula 1 practice session in three years, Kimi Raikkonen was typically underwhelmed, saying he rarely bothered to watch the sport during his absence.

Raikkonen is back from a spell in rally cars and various other forms of racing, joining Lotus which is regarded as long shot to win this the season-opening race on Sunday March 18 in Australia.

Raikkonen said: "I am a little bit older, that's all, but its the same really. It really hasn't changed a lot, the car feels very similar. I was expecting to have more difficulties with it, but its pretty good."

SEASON PREDICTION

The former world champion said he did not tune in to F1 much in his time away: "I didn't watch much the past few years, same people, similar stuff going on. I had other things to do than watch the races. It doesn't mean I don't like the sport - if I didn't like the sport I would not be here."

Lotus has set impressive times in preseason testing, lifting hopes that it can challenge the big teams, at least in the early stages of the season. However Raikkonen is not the kind of driver to make bold predictions.

Raikkonen said: "I have no idea where we're going to be. Are we going to be in the front? I don't know. I hope so."

AP