Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Bahrain, 2012

Raikkonen targets regular podiums for Lotus

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Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, Bahrain, 2012Kimi Raikkonen says Lotus should be able to compete for podium finishes on a regular basis following their two-three finish in Bahrain.

Raikkonen said: “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. 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 would have been much happier if we had managed to get the victory, but nevertheless it?s a good result and the team deserved it for all their hard work. We have been good in every race so far, so hopefully we will be regular visitors to the podium this season.”

Raikkonen has high hopes for the team’s chances in the next race in Spain: “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 new 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.”

He did not run in the Mugello test this week but doesn’t expect it will be a problem: “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.

“I know the track well but there was no need for me to drive. I am here to race and that is what I will do in Barcelona.”

Asked about the debate over F1 tyres, Raikkonen said: “No matter what the tyres you always have to make a strategy to suit them best. The tyres are fine for me.

“For the strategy I work with my engineers and we make the best choices we can. Sometimes we get it right, like in Bahrain. Sometimes we get very close, like in Shanghai.

“After the race in China and after the qualifying in Bahrain, people probably started thinking that we are idiots and cannot do anything right. But we showed in the race why we did what we did. It was close already in China and this time our strategy paid back very nicely for us.

“It?s all part of racing and the same for everyone.”

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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Image ?? Lotus F1 Team/LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Raikkonen targets regular podiums for Lotus”

  1. Perhaps the surprise of the season so far. We knew he was good but who would have ever thought he would be getting these results from a car that outwardly was a role of the dice as 2012 started. He has done more than Schumacher as a returning World Champion in a much shorter time. That fact reflects the quality of the Lotus. A victory would surely become a great tale for those fans who have followed Formula One .

    1. A victory will surely happen in the next four races?

      1. At the current odds you may not even have to wait for Spa.

    2. It could also be that Kimi’s a bit younger than Michael.

      1. In my opinion, we should not underestimate Schumacher, even if he didn’t get any podium since his return. Lotus had podiums last year, too…and they didn’t finish well. In 16 races anything can happen. At the end, the best car with the best driver from that team will win…or Raikkonen. :)

        1. I agree. Also Schumacher has been very unlucky in every race so far this season. I truly believe he will win at least once this season.

          As for Raikkonen, as long as Lotus stay competitive, I think he will continue to get podiums and even win a race or two.

    3. I think there is a world of difference between Kimi returning to F1 and Schumi. Kimi was still racing and not old by F1 standards. He must be, what, comparable to Button and Webber in age whereas when Schumi returned he was already 40+ and not racing. I am not saying that should be used as an excuse to defend him but they really cannot be compared.

      However, comparing performance, I think Kimi is doing more justice to his car’s potential than Schumacher is although even in this case he had a few unlucky moments as well. All in all it is too early to judge I feel and end of season standings will give a better idea.

    4. Good?

      Kimi is one of the best World Champions, driving wise.

      2003 and 2005 could have been his.

      Anyway good stuff, all the best!

  2. Everything will come with time for Kimi. He returned by scoring points, then podium and victory should come soon. I hope that Kimi can win at least in Spa – real driver’s track.

  3. Kimi looks really happy in that pic.

    1. Mhmm..I don’t think so. He is sad, because he is wasting that champagne…

      1. It’s not champagne…that’s why he wants to be back again on the podium!

        I think he’ll be a winner again soon, maybe even at Barcelona. Impressed with how much his team has improved. I just wish they had an identity I could support.

  4. if there’s anywhere i wanna see Kimi win…it has to be Spa….what a circuit, what a driver, what a Race…

    1. Yeah, if car is as good as now.

  5. xeroxpt (@)
    4th May 2012, 18:46

    Iam surely thinking that the Lotus guys are complete idiots, only after capitalising i’ll say otherwise.

  6. May the 4th be with you, Raikkonen ;)

    1. Nick.UK (@)
      5th May 2012, 1:54

      If F1Fanatic had a ‘like’ feature. I’d use it on your comment @jamiefranklinf1

  7. Who knew he could say so many words in one sentence?

    1. I’m impressed too about how much he speaks now, after his return :)

  8. Nick.UK (@)
    5th May 2012, 1:53

    The titles to these kinds of article actually really irritate me! ‘targetting regular podiums’ – Well duh! Cheers Captain Obvious!

    1. Nick.UK (@)
      5th May 2012, 1:58

      As a possible better title, just so people don’t rant at me for only complaining and not providing a solution, ‘Lotus expect to be very competetive in Barcelona’ or ‘Raikkonen on Lotus’s season ahead’

      1. I don’t know, I don’t find either of those alternatives very inspiring. I think I prefer Keith’s. However, if I were asked to offer a title of my own, it might be, “Raikkonen Not Interested in Excuses, Plans To Be Kicking Everyone’s *** Soon.”

        1. If F1Fanatic had a ‘like’ feature. I’d use it on your comment.

  9. Alonso, might be thinking why did he leave Renault in the first place !!!!! what an irony with exchange of Cars….

  10. I still dont really understand why Lotus decided that Kimi should not test. But I hope he can do well in Spain.

    1. i think that was kimi’s idea. who wants to do all the work when you can just adapt to setup changes in the simulator.
      Besies RG would have loved the attention. Just what he needed, reassurance/confidence from the team.

  11. Hopefully Renault continue development now that they have a No.1 driver, unlike last year, where they started off well, then did nothing with the car. It’s great to see Kimi back in F1 and doing well, it might finally prove that Ferrari screwed his chances rather than him screwing Ferrari in his last year of contract…while driving that is. Yes Felipe drove well, ( that’s why people shouldn’t be so quick to knock him ), but since the Schumacher years, what has Ferrari done…

  12. If Kimi doesn’t care, why should you? Just gotta admire this bloke’s attitude. No excuses, openly admits screw-ups. And says he’s only there to race, not to make friends, not to please the sponsors, not to enjoy the jet set lifestyle etc. Just. To. Race.

  13. Well, I wouldn’t go as far to say that their races leading up to Bahrain were ‘good’. Grosjean retired from two of them and Raikkonen dropped I don’t know how many places in China after the tyres died on him!

    The car is clearly good enough, they just need to execute their races better. I’m sure it will come to them.

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