Lotus’ maiden win is imminent according to Raikkonen
By Berthold Bouman
Since Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Formula One many have been speculating about how long it will take the Iceman to score his first victory, and thus also scoring Lotus’ maiden victory. So far the Finn is in fourth place of the Drivers’ Championship, just 12 points behind Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso who share the lead with 61 points each.
His team mate Romain Grosjean is eighth with 35 points but let’s not forget the Frenchman didn’t finish the first two races after collisions with Pastor Maldonado and Michael Schumacher. Grosjean also made an impressive Formula One return, always qualified for Q3 and finished third in Bahrain.
With two podium finishes, second in Bahrain and third place in Spain, Raikkonen is getting closer to the highest step of the podium. In Spain, Raikkonen wasn’t able to fight for the win, and he was disappointed.
“I expected us to be a bit stronger in the race, especially at the beginning. We weren’t fast enough in the first stints and that’s why we couldn’t fight for the win,” he said, adding. “We showed at the end that we have the speed but it was too late. Maybe we made the wrong choice in the first pit stop, but like I said we weren’t quick enough at the start and that cost us the race.”
Asked whether a win is imminent he replied, “Twice now we’ve come close and I’m sure we can make that last step. Unfortunately you’re not always going to be able to challenge for the win, and if you get the chance you have to take it because it’s not every race that you will have the opportunity to go for it.”
And what about Monaco? “The next race is a bit different -– Monaco -– and it’s hard to say how we’ll go there. The team has done a good job, but we still have work to do and things to improve. So far the season is going well; obviously we’re not 100% happy because we’re not winning just yet, but that’s normal and I’m pleased the team want to push even further.”
But he remained upbeat, “Hopefully we can keep doing what we’re doing now and eventually I’m sure things will go exactly right and we’ll be up there.”
It will be difficult to win in Monaco, it is notoriously hard to overtake on the narrow streets of Monte Carlo, so pole position would make it a lot easier, but qualifying doesn’t seem to be Raikkonen’s strongest point this season. Raikkonen won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2005 for McLaren after he had started the race from pole position.