Raikkonen sets sights on victory after strong start to the season for Lotus


Kimi Raikkonen says his sights are firmly set on victory now, on the back of the strong start to the season that his Lotus team has delivered. After challenging Sebastian Vettel hard for the win in Bahrain a fortnight ago, Raikkonen sees no reason why his outfit cannot secure a place on the top step of the podium if it gets its act together.
"The car feels good everywhere we've been so far," said Raikkonen, in a team preview issued on Friday.
"I am here to race and I race to win. That is the target for me and the team. We want to win grands prix. We have a good car and we saw in Bahrain it is good enough to win. That's the target."
Raikkonen is under no illusions how close things are at the front of the grid, but he is sure Lotus can build on its double podium finish from Bahrain.
Reflecting on the positives from the Sakhir weekend, Raikkonen said: "I never had any doubts in myself and it is clear we have a good car so in some ways the podium could have come sooner.
"We had the car already in the first three races to be up there, but we made some small mistakes and it cost us a lot. I would have been much happier if we had managed to get the victory, but nevertheless it's a good result and the team deserved it for all their hard work. We have been good in every race so far, so hopefully we will be regular visitors to the podium this season."
He added: "I expect Lotus to be very competitive at Barcelona. It's going to be very, very close between the top teams. This is the only circuit where the teams have already tested with the new cars, and the set up is crucial as the track changes with the wind and temperature. All the teams have updates for the first European race, which makes it even more interesting and even tighter at the top."
Raikkonen also reckons his absence from last week's Mugello test will not hamper him at all in terms of extracting the most from the Lotus car.
"We didn't have any major new parts to test and we don't race at Mugello so I was not crying when it was decided that I wouldn't test," he said. "I know the track well but there was no need for me to drive. I am here to race and that is what I will do in Barcelona."

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