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Raikkonen insists motivation has never been a problem
Kimi Raikkonen says he is as motivated as ever to succeed with his new Lotus team as the start of the 2012 season draws ever closer.
Raikkonen last raced a Formula One car in anger for Ferrari at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before walking away from the sport to compete in the World Rally Championship. Many interpreted Raikkonen's decision as stemming from a lack of motivation for F1 and his laissez faire attitude has not always gone down well with the press.
But Raikkonen says it is only the people who don't know him who express such opinions and he has never had a problem getting himself revved up for every race he competes in.
"People always talk about motivation, but the people who write it probably don't even know me," Raikkonen told F1 Racing. "It's not a lack of motivation if your car is shit and even if you drive your best and still can't get a good result. My feeling is that I drove one of my best years in my last year for Ferrari. I've never had a problem with motivation."
Lotus was forced to withdraw from this week's test at the Circuit de Catalunya after discovering a problem with the E20-02 chassis, thought now to be related to the front suspension. And Raikkonen insists he will not get downhearted if things don't go according to plan.
"The last year I was with Ferrari we weren't always at the front. But they [Lotus] started well last year. We hope the new car will be strong but the rules are slightly different and you never know. But let's say we're eighth or something; we won't say 'Oh fuck - we'll give up.' We'll always try to improve and hopefully we'll be as high up as we can be."