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Lotus E20 clearly a front-runner - Raikkonen

ESPNF1 Staff
April 3, 2012 « Silverstone increases capacity for British Grand Prix | Pirelli makes tyre choices for Bahrain, Spain and Monaco »
Kimi Raikkonen: "The car feels good and we clearly have the pace to be at the front; we just need some better luck" © Getty Images
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This year's Lotus E20 has the pace to run at the front of the pack, according to Kimi Raikkonen.

Lotus has had a mixed start to the season with Raikkonen yet to start from a representative grid position and team-mate Romain Grosjean yet to make it past the third lap of a race. But Raikkonen believes with some better luck the E20 will be fighting at the front.

"I think we've got off to an encouraging start," he said. "It's been frustrating sometimes with the chassis issues in testing, the qualifying mix-up in Australia and the gearbox change in Malaysia, but we've shown we can deal with any problems and come back stronger.

"It feels like I've never been away; the team has done a good job and I'm working well with them which makes things easier. The car feels good and we clearly have the pace to be at the front; we just need some better luck."

Raikkonen is returning to the sport this season after two years driving in the world rally championship, but does not think his approach to Formula One has changed dramatically.

"I'm still the same person as I was before," he said. "Maybe people see me as more relaxed, which I think is down to the team. It's a different atmosphere to what I've experienced before; everyone is very open and laid back but at the same time they work extremely hard and pay a lot of attention to detail. I feel comfortable here which helps me to focus on racing; I guess that's why people seem to think I'm a different person, but I'm just as focused and motivated as before."