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Raikkonen needs time to acclimatise, says Watson

ESPNF1 Staff
January 14, 2012 « McLaren 'taking controlled risk' | Button better than ever, says Coulthard »
Kimi Raikkonen will get behind the wheel of the team's R30 car at Valencia on 23rd/24th January © Getty Images

Former grand prix winner John Watson says that Kimi Raikkonen will need time to familiarise himself with the new technicalities of the sport when he returns to drive for Lotus Renault for the 2012 season.

Raikkonen last drove for Ferrari in 2009 before quitting the sport to take up rally driving. And with several new regulations being introduced since his departure, Watson thinks the former world champion may take time to get up to speed.

"If you take the example of Schumacher, who was slightly longer out of the cockpit and found it more difficult to re-acclimatise to F1 than he may be expected, whether Kimi will go through the same struggle I don't know," said Watson at the Autosport International Show. "I think probably not to the same degree.

"But big changes because of the aerodynamics, primarily because of the change of tyres, the limitation on testing, all those factors are going to limit Raikkonen's progress so he is going to have to really use every opportunity to be in the car to try and short cut that two-year period where he has been fooling about in rally cars.

"He must re-tune his mind from what you do in a rally car and what you do in a grand prix car."

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