• Bahrain Grand Prix

Raikkonen targets podium in Bahrain

ESPNF1 Staff
April 17, 2012 « I could not be happier at McLaren - Hamilton | Red Bull to pursue Webber's exhaust choice - Marko »
Kimi Raikkonen: "Maybe the heat will suit us better" © Getty Images
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Kimi Raikkonen thinks Lotus is capable of scoring a podium at the Bahrain Grand Prix next weekend.

Raikkonen finished 14th at last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix after his tyres went off, but is confident his car is capable of much more.

"A podium should be possible and I think it has been at all the races we've been at so far," he said. "We don't know exactly how good the car will be until we get there, but we don't expect any problems."

The E20 was due for an upgrade at the Chinese Grand Prix, but the team struggled to extract the extra performance when the parts were tested during free practice.

"We had a lot of parts but it was wet on Friday morning and very cold in the afternoon," Raikkonen added. "We went back to most of the old spec for Saturday as we knew how it worked. Qualifying was okay, but there was a bigger gap to pole which wasn't what we wanted. We didn't make the car faster which some others did with theirs. The E20 still feels good to drive, but we just need to get a little bit more speed. Hopefully we will find it in Bahrain."

He is also hoping the hotter temperatures will suit Lotus with track temperatures likely to be twice as high as they were in Shanghai.

"It's likely to be quite hot and our car didn't like the cold so much when we were in China so maybe the heat will suit us better," he said. "The track has a mixture of corners and it's quite fun to race on. There are some opportunities to overtake so let's see what happens."

Team principal Eric Boullier is also confident.

"Dspite some tricky conditions and a track that was not supposed to suit the E20 [in China], we managed to fight at the top once again," he said. "We were well beaten by Mercedes in China and McLaren have a little bit on us still, but we have a car that can compete for podiums. We just have to make sure that we don't miss any opportunities."