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Raikkonen impresses Lotus in Valencia
Kimi Raikkonen impressed Lotus team principal Eric Boullier with his performance on the first day of his private test at Valencia.
Returning to the sport after a two-year absence, Raikkonen is undertaking two days of running in a Renault R30 to reacclimatise to a Formula One car. Following the first day at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo, Boullier said that Raikkonen had already displayed good feedback to the team despite the car and tyres being of little relevance ahead of the new season.
"I must say today was very positive," Boullier said. "You can see that the whole team is pleased with Kimi's feedback, and Kimi himself seemed very happy to be back behind the wheel. He got the feel of the car very quickly and it's good to see him building a strong relationship with the team.
"Obviously, the R30 is different to the new car, but he is clearly excited to get started at the first test in Jerez. Our team is made up of true racing people, and Kimi fits into that very well."
Director of trackside operations Alan Permane said that Raikkonen had also displayed professionalism to go with his speed and that he was encouraged for the year ahead.
"The day went pretty much as we planned, which is great," Permane said. "Kimi was on the pace we expected straight away. He completed around 300km, going through three sets of tyres. It leaves us with four sets for tomorrow, meaning we can run a bit longer. We worked on getting him comfortable in the car, giving him a feel for the setup changes, and helping him get to know his engineers.
"It's always great to work with a top driver who is not just quick, but professional, and Kimi has all of those characteristics. His feedback is excellent, his requests are concise and to the point. We're looking forward to a good season with him."