Raikkonen: Lotus has potential to win championship

2013 F1 season

Kimi Raikkonen believes Lotus have the potential to be championship contenders in his second season with the team.

“Yes, I think they do,” he said at the launch of the team’s new car. “It?s clear from working with them that they are racers, and you can see in their history that they?ve won championships.”

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus, 2013“Nothing I saw last year made me think that another championship was impossible in the future. Of course, there is some pretty tough competition out there and everyone wants to win. The team have beaten everyone before and there?s nothing to say they can?t do it again.”

Raikkonen said that having continuity from the previous season will help – at least to begin with: “It?s not a massive thing which will suddenly mean you start winning all the races, but it?s nice to be at the same team as you understand how they work, and they understand how you work.

“We quickly developed a pretty good way of working together last year and there?s no reason to think that won?t continue this season.”

His original deal with the team expires at the end of this year and Raikkonen is open to continuing in 2014:

“I?m not really thinking beyond this season at the moment, but I?m sure there will be talk before the end of the year.

“I enjoyed my comeback to Formula 1 last year and there?s no reason to say I shouldn?t enjoy the 2013 season too. I know there will be big changes to the cars and regulations for 2014, so who?s to say that won?t be exciting.”

See video and pictures of the new Lotus E21:

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28 comments on Raikkonen: Lotus has potential to win championship

  1. Kyle Miller said on 28th January 2013, 22:24

    If Grosjean has less contact than I say they will have the best line up.

    • Nick Jarvis (@nickj95gb) said on 29th January 2013, 0:39

      If Massa performs as well as he did in the final few races, and Alonso performs as well as he did in the first half of the season, I see no reason why Ferrari cannot win the WDC or even the WCC this year. I’d even say at the moment they have the best driver line up, or at least the best potential line up.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 29th January 2013, 13:12

      Despite WEB’s ups and down, I’d rank RAI+GRO second to VET+WEB as the best line up now that Hamilton has taken his talents to Brackley.

  2. Nkoli said on 28th January 2013, 22:29

    kimi looks so confidency for up coming season,hope he will deliver again this season!.

  3. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 28th January 2013, 23:24

    there’s nothing to say they can’t do it again.”

    there’s no reason to think that won’t continue this season

    there’s no reason to say I shouldn’t enjoy the 2013 season too

    so who’s to say that won’t be exciting

    You know, for a guy that hates PR, he’s actually rather good at it :P

    • Nick (@npf1) said on 29th January 2013, 0:18

      I’ve noticed that too. He seems a little different since his comeback, more polite, I’d say. He will never be much of a talker, but he does seem to say more than a couple of years ago. He’d typically follow up a ‘so’ with a silence.

  4. HUHHII (@huhhii) said on 28th January 2013, 23:44

    The last paragraph gives me an impression that we will see Kimi in Formula One in 2014 as well! That was the best news of the day really.

  5. tmax (@tmax) said on 29th January 2013, 0:05

    It is always they and it is never “WE” … That is where Alonso really stuck the pulse with Ferrari….

    Anyways I am a big Kimi fan… Hope he wins the championship this year …..

    • Kanman1 said on 29th January 2013, 4:41

      wow, Alonso has been blaming his team all season long and complaint every signle details to the press in order to talk up his performances….i guess kimi should do the same =P

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th January 2013, 0:23

    “Nothing I saw last year made me think that another championship was impossible in the future. Of course, there is some pretty tough competition out there and everyone wants to win. The team have beaten everyone before and there’s nothing to say they can’t do it again.”

    Raikkonen was paying attention last year … right? There were at least four races that Lotus could have and probably should have won, but threw the results away with poor pit strategies. And they lucked into the one race they did win when Lewis Hamilton retired in Abu Dhabi.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 29th January 2013, 4:00

      Yeah, ok, so as I see it KR is right…if all that prevented them from winning 4 races (as in, they were that good car-wise) was poor pit strategies, then that is, to me, a lot easier to fix than, say, a dog of a car that proves a season-long handful. And many have argued, in defence of winning via the attrition of others…’that’s racing’…you still have to be ‘there’ to benefit from said attrition. It happens all the time and has throughout the history of F1.

      I don’t think the team can afford to, nor would, dwell on the negatives of last year and assume that means they’re done for this year. I take KR’s words as more forward reaching than lamenting the past. He uses the wording ‘in the future’ and ‘nothing to say they can’t do it again.’ And I believe it. For now, we won’t know until we know. That’s why they run a full season of races where anything can happen and often does.

      They’ve obviously shown they’re knocking on the door. They’re definitely in a mode of continuity.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th January 2013, 4:07

        if all that prevented them from winning 4 races (as in, they were that good car-wise) was poor pit strategies, then that is, to me, a lot easier to fix than, say, a dog of a car that proves a season-long handful

        Maybe, but the team repeatedly made the same strategy mistakes throughout 2012. They were far too conservatve, unwilling to risk their current position for the sake of a better one.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 29th January 2013, 4:37

          Yeah fair enough, but I still say that’s something that is their obligation to try and learn from and not repeat, especially when they seem close car-wise. Perhaps the new tires will change their ability to strategize in a more effective and aggressive way and allow them to take more chances.

          The car/tire combo, and their accompanying ideal setups, will no doubt be at least somewhat different this year if not largely different, so let’s see if they can learn from the past rather than stagnate, and be more able to maximize the tires in more races and for longer portions of stints. Right off the bat we know the tires are going to be somewhat different in their performance due to their different construction and mandated temperature band and behaviour. Plus the cars have been changed. Different menu to choose from this year.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 29th January 2013, 4:02

      He is not the type to point out flawless of others in front of the camera, though I bet, he is thinking it and most likely already discussed it with the team.

      What I loved about presentation is that it seems that this season Kimi, at least it sounds like it, is a number one driver with Romain there to get as many points he can and support.

      • Kimi4WDC said on 29th January 2013, 4:03

        *flaws

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th January 2013, 4:11

        He is not the type to point out flawless of others in front of the camera,

        He’s not allowed to. Remember what happened to Vitaly Petrov in 2011?

        though I bet, he is thinking it and most likely already discussed it with the team.

        You say that as if it is Raikkonen’s defining trait, as if he is the only driver who is unafraid to speak up and discuss things that need to be discussed when other drivers would back down and stick to the party line. But that’s not true at all – almost every driver does it. If the drivers can’t or won’t discuss the car’s performance, then the teams would never be able to develop their cars. It is not something that Raikkonen and only Raikkonen does.

        • Klaas de Vries said on 29th January 2013, 4:50

          We get it Ricky, you don’t like Raikkonen but give it a rest, you don’t need to turn around every positive comment about him.
          Kimi4WDC has a point Raikkonen complains much less than other drivers when something doesn’t go his way, at least in front of the cameras. And I don’t think it has something to do with Lotus’ history of punishing driver for criticing the team.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th January 2013, 5:29

            you don’t need to turn around every positive comment about him

            There’s a difference between actual positive comments, and trying to make out that Raikkonen is the only driver who does something that every driver does.

          • Klaas de Vries said on 29th January 2013, 12:33

            @prisoner-monkeys

            He is not the type to point out flawless of others in front of the camera

            The statement above doesn’t imply anywhere that he’s the ONLY driver who doesn’t do it, it only puts him into a certain category.
            PM your comments are usually interesting and objective but when it comes to Raikkonen you seem to be biased against him.

    • Sauber’s worse with pit strategies IMO.

      Especially with their infamous 1 stops/completely differing tyre strategies between each driver.

      Besides, it’s never for just only one reason that a team is unable to achieve results. The E20 was notably weaker in qualifying, meaning that precious time for achieving victory is wasted in having to overtake many cars from starting in the midfield.

      It’s the mix of many different factors that contribute to the overall ‘package’, that determines the team/driver’s positions.

      That is why there’s no point in having a super fast but unreliable car. The not as fast but more reliable car that’s right behind wins due to having an overall better package. (Abu Dhabi ’12, and many other races where teams and their drivers are accused of ‘lucking’ into victories)

      One still needs to be actually capable to make use of that ‘luck’ to snatch victory/championships

  7. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 29th January 2013, 0:24

    If they want to win championships then they need to get better with their strategies. In 2012 they had possible wins slip away due to strategy errors or wrong choices several times. They’ve got Kimi, who we all know can deliver. I hope (1) that the car’s up there fighting for wins on pace and (2) that they have sorted out their strategy work. Kimi’ll do the rest!

  8. Nkoli said on 29th January 2013, 0:32

    It would be nice to see Kimi gets second championship with Lotus before Alonso gets his with Ferarri. I don’t know what Mr. Monza would react to it.

    • Kimi4WDC said on 29th January 2013, 4:05

      I hope he finally quit as he was planing 15 years ago :) Ferrari is not missing out on anything with his running around, making everyone feel awkward.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 29th January 2013, 4:22

      It would be nice to see Kimi gets second championship with Lotus before Alonso gets his with Ferarri.

      Alonso already has a second World Championship. Raikkonen is targeting his second title; Alonso is targeting his third.

  9. Brace (@brace) said on 29th January 2013, 2:50

    I can bet that Kimi didn’t personally say any of that. :)
    Sounds way out of his character to give that kind of answers. His answers are usually much shorter and in the style of “why are you asking me when it’s so obvious that you already can see it for yourself too”. :)

  10. Kanman1 said on 29th January 2013, 4:40

    No more stunt on in season development please. Use kimi smartly to attract more sponsors. And drop the leave me alone joke already…..kimi had better 1….”i was having a ….” for example.

  11. alfonso fernandes said on 29th January 2013, 10:33

    I wonder if Kimi has any plans to work on the catwalk after he’s done with F1. :-)

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