Räikkönen aiming for qualifying gains

Räikkönen aiming for qualifying gains

30 October 2012 – Kimi Räikkönen is targeting an improvement in qualifying form when his Formula 1 return continues next season, having confirmed his plans to remain with Lotus for the 2013 campaign. The Finn has scored points from 16 of the 17 Grands Prix so far this year, but has lacked the one-lap edge required to claim a front-row start.

"Of course, the main thing is to do my very best every time, every weekend, every race," Räikkönen said of his overall target for next season. "I think to be able to perform better in the races I have to find more from myself and from the car in qualifying.

"This season has shown that you have to be on first two rows to be able to win every time. It’s important to improve our grid positions for 2013. That’s one of main targets for me."

Räikkönen went on to explain that his hunger to compete at the front is as high as ever, with motivation levels undeterred in his bid to return to winning ways.

"I think there were a few people who had doubts about how I would perform after being away," he added. "Personally, I didn’t feel I stopped racing at all. I may have been doing something different with rallying, but after coming back to F1 I immediately felt fit enough - and fast enough - to start racing again.

"My hunger for winning is exactly the same as always and I think I’ve shown that I’m capable of fighting for victories.

"Obviously there have been none so far this year, but we have come close a few times and for sure we’ll keep on trying for as long as it takes to start winning again."

Heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend's Grand Prix, Räikkönen sits third in the standings with a total of 173 points. He trails leader Sebastian Vettel by 67 points, with a possible 75 available from the Yas Marina, Austin and São Paulo events.

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