Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Raikkonen targets Malaysian podium
Kimi Raikkonen says he is confident of scoring his first podium since returning to F1 in this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix after picking up points in his maiden outing for Lotus in Australia.
The Finn suffered in qualifying at Albert Park and failed to make it past Q1, even though he came through the field to finish seventh and give Lotus its first point’s finish of the year.
Having managed to come from side to side the field on race day down under, Raikkonen said he was happy with the concert shown by the E20 and felt confident that he could he could fight for more during the second round of the year at Sepang.
“The car feels very good,” he said. “In the race I was wedged in traffic a lot so it didn't show so much, and who knows what strength have happened if we had a better grid a slot. There is a lot of speed in the car.
“We'll be trying to get better our performance in Malaysia for sure. We don't know how the car will behave there but it's been good everywhere so far so hopefully it'll be the same there. It'll be hot and humid which is a confront but we have a good car. As long as qualifying goes well we might be fighting for podiums. We'll have to wait and see.
“There's much more to come. We're learning concerning the car all the time and the last race didn't really give us the chance to use its full possible. Hopefully Malaysia will be a bit more straightforward.”
Raikkonen's seventh place stop in Australia came in his first F1 start since Abu Dhabi 2009, but the former Ferrari driver insisted he felt at home straight-away in spite of the changes that have taken place over the past two years while he has been competing in the WRC.
“To be honest it didn't feel any dissimilar to when I last raced,” he said. “There have been a few rule changes but the racing itself is very similar. The DRS is easier to use in the race than in practice or qualifying because there are only certain places you can set in motion it, whereas in the other sessions people will try to push the limits of how early they can use it which can easily lead to a mistake if you are too destructive.”