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?óÔé¼Ôäós clear from working with them that they are racers, and you can see in their history that they?óÔé¼Ôäóve won championships.”
“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?óÔé¼Ôäós nothing to say they can?óÔé¼Ôäót do it again.”
Raikkonen said that having continuity from the previous season will help – at least to begin with: “It?óÔé¼Ôäós not a massive thing which will suddenly mean you start winning all the races, but it?óÔé¼Ôäós 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?óÔé¼Ôäós no reason to think that won?óÔé¼Ôäót 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?óÔé¼Ôäóm not really thinking beyond this season at the moment, but I?óÔé¼Ôäóm sure there will be talk before the end of the year.
“I enjoyed my comeback to Formula 1 last year and there?óÔé¼Ôäós no reason to say I shouldn?óÔé¼Ôäót enjoy the 2013 season too. I know there will be big changes to the cars and regulations for 2014, so who?óÔé¼Ôäós to say that won?óÔé¼Ôäót be exciting.”
See video and pictures of the new Lotus E21:
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