• Spanish Grand Prix

Raikkonen expects 'very competitive' Lotus in Spain

ESPNF1 Staff
May 4, 2012 « Caterham to give Rossi Friday practice run in Spain | Spain will help to unravel 2012 pecking order - Vettel »
Kimi Raikkonen on missing the Mugello test: "We don't race at Mugello so I was not crying" © Getty Images
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Kimi Raikkonen is expecting to be "very competitive" at next weekend's Spanish Grand Prix after securing the first podium of his comeback at the last race in Bahrain.

Raikkonen has won the Spanish Grand Prix twice before and returns to the Circuit de Catalunya in the in-form Lotus E20. He is expecting a close battle between the top teams but is confident Lotus will be right in the mix.

"I expect Lotus to be very competitive at Barcelona," he said. "It's going to be very, very close between the top teams. This is the only circuit where the teams have already tested with the new cars, and the set up is crucial as the track changes with the wind and temperature. All the teams have updates for the first European race, which makes it even more interesting and even tighter at the top."

Asked what he wanted to achieve over the next four races, Raikkonen added: "Let's see what happens. As I've said, the car feels good everywhere we've been so far. I am here to race and I race to win. That is the target for me and the team. We want to win grands prix. We have a good car and we saw in Bahrain it is good enough to win. That's the target."

Raikkonen did not take part in the recent Mugello test after Lotus decided to replace him with Romain Grosjean following limited running on the rain-affected first day. But the Finn said he was not taking the decision personally.

"We didn't have any major new parts to test and we don't race at Mugello so I was not crying when it was decided that I wouldn't test," he added. "I know the track well but there was no need for me to drive. I am here to race and that is what I will do in Barcelona."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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