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Raikkonen dismisses talk of ructions at Lotus

ESPN Staff
June 21, 2012 « Alonso has say in future Ferrari team-mate | Hamilton expects hard bargain over new contract »
Kimi Raikkonen: "There is no difference from the first day I met the team" © Sutton Images
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Kimi Raikkonen has played down suggestions that difficulties between him and Lotus are starting to cause ructions in their relationship.

After two years rallying, Raikkonen returned to the sport at the start of this season and has scored two podiums, leaving him fifth in the drivers' championship. However, disappointing results at the last two races due to lost set-up time in Monaco and a differential problem in Canada has led to speculation that the relationship between driver and team might be deteriorating. Raikkonen denied the suggestions.

"I don't know where you heard this stuff," he said in Valencia on Thursday. "Maybe if you ask the team bosses you will get the truth. There is no difference from the first day I met the team."

Asked if he was still happy at the team, Raikkonen said: "Why wouldn't I [be]?"

One of the pressure points in the relationship was thought to be the car's steering, which the team modified in Monaco only for Raikkonen to do one lap and ask for the old system. But Raikkonen insists it is not as big a problem as the media is making out.

"Like I said at the last race, there's no point to ask [about it] at every race. We improve it all the time and, like I said, it is not an issue that will suddenly make us half a second faster. It's just a small thing that the team has been working on and improving."

Asked if it was frustrating for him and the team not to win a grand prix despite showing strong race pace, Raikkonen added: "Of course when you get the good results and you get close you get a bit disappointed that you don't win. If you would have asked before the season if they would have been happy with these results they would definitely have taken it. We wouldn't have expected to be so high up, and then when you start to be up there and you don't win then you start expecting to win."

Lotus is currently third in the constructors' championship, 11 points ahead of Ferrari, and Raikkonen is hoping his new team will be able to maintain its advantage over his former employers.

"We try, but for sure it's not going to be easy because they are a much bigger team than us. So far we've been able to do that so if we do everything right and improve the car all the time then I don't see a reason why we couldn't."