Kimi Raikkonen

2013 Australian GP preview quotes: Lotus

Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus – 2012 Qualifying – 18th, 2012 Race – 7th
“Australia is a nice place even though it’s a long way from Europe. The circuit itself is not the most difficult on the calendar. It was good to score a point on my first time at Albert Park, and the podiums and race win in 2007 obviously made me happy. The circuit hasn’t changed at all so I’m confident I know which way it goes… It’s always difficult to say for the first race of the year. It’s not a full time race track so the weekend starts pretty slippery. The weather can be a bit of a surprise sometimes and we’ll also learn how we compare to the other teams.

You need a car with good traction and the E21 feels better in this area than the E20 which wasn’t a bad car itself. Strong turn-in and stable braking help too, and those areas also feel good with the car so we are well placed. I’d like to start the season strongly and hopefully run the first races better than we did last year. We don’t know exactly what to expect so we’ll try to do the best we can; we should have a reasonable start to the season.”

Romain Grosjean, Lotus – 2012 Qualifying – 3rd, 2012 Race – DNF
“I’m really looking forward to the 2013 season; it’s been a good winter for us and we achieved quite a bit of what we wanted to do, even if the conditions were not always easy. We’re ready for Albert Park, it’s one of my favourite Grand Prix circuits, so it will be good to get there, start the season and do the best that we can. Where do I hope to be in Australia? I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot, but I really have no answer until we get to qualifying in Melbourne. Of course, we always want to be at the front; that’s the aim, and we’ll do the best that the car can do. As long as I perform to my best then I will be happy.”

Eric Boullier, Lotus team principal
“We can take quite a bit of confidence following pre-season testing. We didn’t complete as many laps as we wanted and we did experience a few glitches both technical and physical, but despite this we were able to work through most of the items in our itinerary. We are confident that we have made a step forward compared to last year. I believe we have kept the main strength of the car from last year, which was very conservative on tyre wear and degradation, and we’ve proved our capability to deliver one lap pace which is important for qualifying.”

James Allison, Lotus technical director
“Right after three tests in a row you feel quite tired as it’s almost like three consecutive Grands Prix. We’re a little frustrated about the amount of time we lost out on track, but we’re also excited, optimistic and looking forward to taking the car to Melbourne and seeing what we can do with it. I think that from right back in Jerez it was clear that there are a number of quick teams out there. I think it was also clear from the first test that we have the potential to be one of them and the evidence of our running so far hasn’t done anything to dispel that. We’ll be in the hunt for podiums and very much looking for race wins. A good Albert Park would be a first row grid place from qualifying and a podium in the race. It’s certainly possible.”

Images © Lotus


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