• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - FP2

More pace in updated Lotus - Raikkonen

ESPN Staff
November 2, 2012 « Vettel sees McLaren as main rival in Abu Dhabi | Some updates 'positive' - Ferrari »
Kimi Raikkonen was just 0.120s off third place in FP2 © Sutton Images
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Kimi Raikkonen says he believes he can get more pace out of his updated Lotus after an encouraging day of practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Having been 10th quickest and over two seconds off the pace in FP1, Raikkonen improved markedly to set the sixth quickest time; 0.8s slower than Sebastian Vettel but just over 0.1s off Jenson Button in third place. With team-mate Romain Grosjean quicker than him in a car lacking the latest iteration of the Coanda-effect exhaust, Raikkonen said he believes there is room for improvement in his car.

"We tried the new exhaust and we spent most of the time in the practice on that and didn't really change the car a lot apart from those new parts," Raikkonen said. "It didn't feel very nice - the car - but the lap times seems to be pretty OK still so I was a bit surprised how good the time was even when it wasn't very nice to drive. Hopefully we can improve and it should mean we can get a bit more closer even than what we are today."

Raikkonen is also encouraged that Lotus continues to update the exhausts, saying that it is having both a short-term and long-term benefit.

"For sure we have improved, but like we said you gain some downforce and you give away some horsepower. For sure we try to get them back but it's not a very easy thing; with time we'll come back with more and more horsepower and still have the downforce.

"I think it's a good thing that we at least try to put the new parts on the car this year and we learn a lot of things so we'll be a lot smarter for the new car with those things. We improve, but I think every team is improving so it's not just us. For sure we're more closer than we were say in Monza or in Spa on lap time."