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Raikkonen expects midfield battle

ESPNF1 Staff
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Kimi Raikkonen carried out a two-day test in a 2010 Renault in Valencia this week © Lotus F1 Team
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Kimi Raikkonen has admitted that he doesn't expect to be challenging the front-runners during the 2012 season.

Raikkonen makes his comeback this year having been absent for two seasons since leaving Ferrari. The 2007 world champion has had his motivation questioned, with some observers doubting how long he will remain with Lotus if not given a competitive car. However, Raikkonen said that his expectations for this season were not high, and that it was a situation he was familiar with.

"I expect to have to fight in the middle group," Raikkonen told the BBC. "But it will not be a drama. It's no different to my last year at Ferrari."

Raikkonen did admit that he aspires to win another title, but said it wasn't the main reason for his return.

"Of course the championship is the goal," he is quoted by Turun Sanomat. "It's fine to try it, but I am not obsessed about having another championship or not."

With pre-season testing yet to get underway, Raikkonen has only driven the 2010 Renault in a private test so far. He said that one he gets to drive the new car his initial impressions will give an indication of how competitive he can be this year.

"Generally, if the car feels good right from the start, you are usually competitive (for the season). The races I don't think are so different (from 2009). Vettel was strong even then even though there is much more passing now, but that depends on the moving wing. I haven't tried it (DRS) yet, or the KERS because it was the 2010 car (at Valencia). But it's just one or two more buttons to push."

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