• Australian Grand Prix

No reliability concerns for Raikkonen

ESPN Staff
March 11, 2013 « New girl Perry faces sharp learning curve | A podium is 'certainly possible' - Lotus »
Gearbox issues limited Kimi Raikkonen's testing mileage over the winter © Sutton Images

Kimi Raikkonen is confident Lotus is on top of its pre-season reliability problems heading to the first race in Australia.

Raikkonen lost track time on two separate days over the winter with gearbox issues, although the team has been working on a solution to fix that issue. He said he has confidence in the team heading to the first race and insists that the lack of mileage will not be a huge disadvantage.

"We had some problems in testing but we still completed quite a few laps," he said. "Of course, you always want more laps, but it is what it is. We're all going racing and then we'll really see where we're at. I'm not really concerned about reliability or anything like that as it was the same problem which caused us the biggest problems in testing and we're on top of that now. You can never be 100% certain of course, but if you look at last season we had problems before the start of the year then we were pretty good when we got to the races. Of course we hope that we can perform better than last year, but let's see how it goes."

He was also quietly confident about the way the new car would perform at Melbourne's Albert Park this weekend.

"It's not a full time race track so the weekend starts pretty slippery," he said. "The weather can be a bit of a surprise sometimes and we'll also learn how we compare to the other teams. You need a car with good traction and the E21 feels better in this area than the E20 which wasn't a bad car itself. Strong turn-in and stable braking help too, and those areas also feel good with the car so we are well placed."

As for his championship chances, Raikkonen is hopeful he can put up a fight.

"It's so difficult to say from testing. Twenty kilos of fuel can make a big difference to lap time and we don't know how much fuel people were carrying in Spain. Let's see what happens in Melbourne. Hopefully we can be fast in the first races and have a good start to the year."