• Singapore Grand Prix

Lotus has fallen off the pace - Raikkonen

ESPN Staff
October 4, 2012 « Ferrari was never an option for 2013 - Perez | Kobayashi doesn't think Schumacher wants Sauber move »
Lotus will run its rear wing 'device' this weekend at Suzuka © Sutton Images
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Kimi Raikkonen says Lotus has fallen off the pace of Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari and that it needs to improve this weekend to keep his championship chances alive.

Although lying third in the championship standings, Raikkonen was an uncompetitive sixth in Singapore behind both Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel, while his fifth place in Monza also saw him finish half a minute behind race winner Lewis Hamilton. Since finishing a second behind Hamilton in Hungary, Raikkonen hasn't been able to challenge for victory and he admitted he was pinning his hopes on upgrades planned over the next two races.

"I think we've fallen off a little bit from the guys; the others have improved," Raikkonen said. "We have some small parts - new parts - here so hopefully it will get us back more where we were being before. But I think we have to try to do the best over the weekend here and hopefully then for Korea we should get bigger improvements so if that works we should improve a bit more so we'll see."

Looking at the championship situation, Raikkonen said his focus was on closing the gap to Fernando Alonso regardless of what his rivals may achieve.

"We are already behind so somehow you have to manage to get more points than the guy leading the championship. I don't care if there's someone who passes us in the points (standings), if you can reduce the gap to the front that's the main thing right now. The last two races we haven't been able to do it, so hopefully we can do it here."

When asked if he still felt he could win the championship, Raikkonen replied: "We will try.

"There's quite a few races left and we just have to improve the car and hopefully the next few races will put us more in a better position and we'll go from there.

"If we could win (the title) I don't care how it comes; if we win it we win it and that's it. Right now it doesn't look very good but we've been in worse situations and we keep trying. So as long as we have a small chance we keep trying and hopefully we can improve a bit."

Raikkonen also refused to confirm his plans for 2013 despite admitting he has a contract with Lotus.

"You never know; Formula One is a funny place. We've seen that in the past and I've seen it so I'm not interested in talking about it, because it doesn't seem to make much sense whether you seem to have [a contract], it can change in one night."