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Domenicali wary of Lotus threat in championship

ESPN Staff
July 30, 2012 « Horner tiring of Red Bull criticism | Michael pleased with car progress »
Stefano Domenicali thinks Lotus has underperformed during the first half of the season © Sutton Images
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Stefano Domenicali is wary of the threat from Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus in the drivers' and constructors' championships.

Although Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix, Raikkonen's second place was his fifth podium of the season and third in the last four races. With Raikkonen and team-mate Romain Grosjean battling for victory before both finishing in the top three, Lotus has moved above Ferrari and remains one point behind second-placed McLaren in the constructors' championship.

With Raikkonen in fifth place in the drivers' standings - eight points off second place and 48 behind Fernando Alonso - Domenicali admitted that he's a threat but said it wasn't unexpected.

"I was not surprised by Kimi's job because I have always said that he's a very talented driver, a very good driver and he's a world champion; you do not become world champion unless you have something special," Domenicali said. "I think that Lotus did not collect the points that they were able to collect because they always had a very good car since the beginning of the season. So I think they could have scored more points … they will be a very good team in the second half of the season."

With the Formula One teams set to take an enforced two-week break during August, Domenicali was asked how he saw the second half of the season unfolding and said he expected it to be: "Very difficult, because we've seen that at the moment there are cars that are faster than us.

"We need to keep improving the level of performance; we need to be cool on that because last weekend we were the quickest in all conditions, this time we weren't so there is the right balance to find. But we know that we need to keep finding a step of development because otherwise the otherwise the others will improve and it will be more difficult to always be first or on pole. So I think that the key for the season is to keep pushing as we did in the first half of the season."