• Australian Grand Prix - FP2

Lotus is closer to the front - Raikkonen

ESPN Staff
March 15, 2013 « Australian Grand Prix Qualifying | Ferrari content with race pace »
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest on Friday © Sutton Images

Kimi Raikkonen is confident his Lotus is closer to the front of the pack in Australia this weekend than it was at the end of last year.

Raikkonen finished third in the constructors' championship in 2012 but often struggled for one-lap pace compared to the other top teams. He finished Friday practice in Melbourne roughly 0.4s off the pace, but thinks he is closer to the front of the grid than he was at the end of last season.

"I think even since the last races [of 2012] it feels like we are a bit closer maybe, but we've seen Vettel being fast today," he said. "Everybody has times quite close to each other and it's only the first Friday, so we'll see how it goes at the first two races and go from there."

Asked if he was concerned by Vettel's pace in Friday practice, after the Red Bull set its best time on the third lap of a super-soft tyre run rather than the first, Raikkonen said: "For sure we can improve also, but they were fast on the harder tyres also so you expect that they would have been a bit faster on the super-soft.

"But you never know, some of the teams today improved so much with the super-softs. But it is what it is and the race will be a different story and it's only the first Friday."