Kimi: 'Hope we're fast enough'

2013-03-12 08:32

Kimi Raikkonen has shrugged off Lotus's pre-season testing problems on and said his new car felt better than that of 2012 going into Formula 1's Australian season-opener.

The Finn, 2007 World champion with Ferrari and third overall in 2012 in his comeback season, was hoping that Lotus could be strong right from the start despite a lack of laps in testing.


Raikkonen said: "We had some problems in testing but we still completed quite a few laps. Of course, you always want more laps, but it is what it is.

"I'm not really concerned about reliability or anything like that as it was the same problem which caused us the biggest problems in testing and we're on top of that now. You can never be 100% certain but if you look at last season we had problems before the start of the year then we were pretty good when we got to the races."

Statistics on the official F1 website showed Lotus was 11th out of the 11 teams in terms of test distance completed with 3527km compared to Sauber's 5307km.

Raikkonen, who was unwell for one of the days in Barcelona, was 20th in the individual list of test km covered - with only late signings Jules Bianchi and Adrian Sutil doing less among the race drivers.

The Finn was hampered by telemetry issues on his first day in Barcelona, which hosted the second and third tests after the first in Jerez, and was then sidelined for much of the second day by a gearbox problem.

Raikkonen won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November 2012 and ended the season with seven podium finishes. He won at Melbourne's Albert Park in 2007 and scored the first points of his career there in 2001.

"I hope we're fast enough. I don't think there's any area where it feels worse than last year's car; so far everything is better. We had good speed last year, but not enough to win the championship. T," he said. "That means we need more speed for 2013. If we can get just a little more from the car and keep our consistency, with some better results at the beginning of the year, then we should have a much better chance."

While champion team Red Bull as well as Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes, have been making most of the headlines, Lotus has been burnishing its title credentials.

Red Bull principal Christian Horner said: "They are a good team with quality people and Kimi, now he is back up to full speed, scored points at pretty much every 2012 race. He could well be a factor this year.”

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