Räikkönen: Lotus needs to work twice as hard
3 May 2013 – Kimi Räikkönen says Lotus needs to be working "twice as hard" as its rivals if it is to compete for world titles this season, with the Finn admitting that it will be a tall order to overcome Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull as the development race unfolds.
Räikkönen, who trails current leader Vettel by ten points in the Drivers' standings, says it is vital for the Enstone-based team to keep bringing new parts to the E21 chassis after the first major upgrade packages are applied at the Circuit de Catalunya.
"For sure it’s an OK start and we’re in a better position that this time last year, but there’s a long season ahead and it’s too early to say if we can fight for the Championships right to the end," explained Räikkönen, who is looking to extend his 22-race points-scoring streak. "It’s going to be hard to catch Sebastian if he keeps taking good results so we need to start taking more points from him, but you never know what can happen. We’ll keep pushing to improve the car and see where we end up."
When asked what is required of the team as the year progresses, he said: "Some more wins! To catch the leaders, we have to work twice as hard as they are. It’s no secret that we want more speed from the car in qualifying; it’s so tight up there at the front and we really need to be on the first two rows to fight for victories every time.
"It’s good to start the European season where we are as this is when you see teams starting to push on with lots of new parts. It’s still early days, but to have scored strong points since the start of the year is obviously better than not having them. We need to keep scoring points in the same way; even if it’s a bad weekend for us, we need to keep finishing as well as we can. That’s how we will fight to the end of the season."
Räikkönen claimed victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, before adding a points finish at Sepang and a pair of second places in China and Bahrain.