Räikkönen focused on qualifying speed
20 May 2013 – Lotus driver Kimi Räikkönen says his team must focus solely on a strong qualifying performance in Monaco, having previously been hindered by a low grid position at a venue which is renowned for a lack of overtaking opportunities.
The Finn, who has finished four of the opening five Grands Prix on the podium, is hopeful that the E21 chassis will continue its competitive trend in the principality.
"We have to focus on qualifying," said Räikkönen, who sits second in the Drivers' standings. "It’s a difficult place to race as it’s so narrow and passing is nearly impossible. I was stuck behind Rubens [Barrichello] in 2009 and we had KERS then, but you just couldn’t get past. We’ll have to see how the tyres perform and if there are any good strategies to be made, but the most important thing is to qualify well.
"It’s difficult to know how good the car will be in Monaco as you can’t simulate its characteristics; certainly not at any of the circuits we’ve visited so far this year anyway. We can say the E21’s been fast everywhere else so let’s hope it’s also fast there."
Räikkönen is certain that he will enjoy a much smoother weekend this time out, having tackled the streets of Monte-Carlo for the first time since returning in 2012.
"We certainly won’t make the mistakes we made last time," he explained. "There were a few things we didn’t do right over the weekend and we suffered. Sometimes that’s the way it goes, but the important thing is not to make the same mistakes again."