• Lotus news

Raikkonen buoyed by Lotus progress

ESPN Staff
October 18, 2013 « Brawn allays 2014 fuel fears | P2 would be 'amazing' - Boullier »
Kimi Raikkonen: "We're trying to get rid of some understeer which is something I don't like" © Sutton Images

Kimi Raikkonen says he has been encouraged by the progress shown by Lotus in recent races.

Although Raikkonen only finished in fifth place in Japan, team-mate Romain Grosjean was a contender for victory and eventually finished third; ensuring at least one Lotus finished on the podium for the third race in a row. Raikkonen qualified in ninth place and had a poor start at Suzuka but said the car was more competitive than his result showed.

"The car felt pretty strong all weekend and we've made good progress with it recently," Raikkonen said. "It's still not exactly as I want it and we're trying to get rid of some understeer which is something I don't like. In Japan it was hard to show our real pace at the beginning of the race as I was stuck behind slower cars for quite a long time. After the final pit stop when I got a bit of free air the car was working much better. It ran well in the last half of the race and I was very happy with it."

Raikkonen believes the key to a strong weekend in India lies in his qualifying performances.

"Hopefully we finally get it right in qualifying as the last five qualifying sessions have not been that great for me. If we don't, it's going to be a difficult Sunday afternoon, although of course we'll keep pushing. If we do get it right, then we can really go for it!"