Skip to main content

Kimi Raikkonen: Lotus can win F1 title

updated 1:06 PM EST, Tue January 29, 2013
Finland's Kimi Raikkonen was crowned the Formula One world champion while driving for Ferrari in 2007.
Finland's Kimi Raikkonen was crowned the Formula One world champion while driving for Ferrari in 2007.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kimi Raikkonen says he can win the world champions with Lotus
  • The Finn was crowned drivers' champion with Ferrari in 2007
  • Raikkonen finished 2012 in third position, behind Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso
  • His current deal with Lotus expires at the end of the season

(CNN) -- Never let it be said that Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen is lacking in confidence.

Although he managed to finish third last season, the Finn was still a whopping 74 points behind world champion Sebastian Vettel, but former world champion Raikkonen remains confident that Lotus can challenge the sport's elite in the coming season.

"It's clear from working with them that they are racers, and you can see in their history that they've won championships," the 33-year-old driver, who won the drivers' championship with Ferrari in 2007, told Lotus' official website as the team became the first to unveil its new 2013 car this week.

The Finn made his return to F1 in 2012 after a two-year absence and propelled his Lotus car towards the front of the grid, grabbing a win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on his way to finishing third in the drivers' championship.

Read: Motorcycling star Stoner switches to cars

"Nothing I saw last year made me think that another championship was impossible in the future," added Raikkonen. "Of course, there is some pretty tough competition out there and everyone wants to win.

"The team have beaten everyone before and there's nothing to say they can't do it again."

Many observers were surprised to see Raikkonen, who spent time racing in NASCAR and the World Rally Championship during his two-year absence, return to F1 and enjoy immediate success despite being a veteran of 19 previous grands prix wins.

Read: Hamilton not expecting miracles at Mercedes

But Raikkonen never lost doubt in his own ability as a driver.

"I knew I could still perform well in Formula 1 given the right opportunity," the Finn continued. "It was only other people who had doubts.

"There will be a new car which we'll want to develop and get working at its best. There are always changes in the sport; some small, some big. Generally everything's pretty similar, and the feeling of racing on track is pretty familiar."

Raikkonen is entering the final year of his contract with the British-based team, but he is yet to sit down and discuss his future.

"I'm not really thinking beyond this season at the moment, but I'm sure there will be talk before the end of the year," said Raikkonen, who will turn 34 in October.

"I enjoyed my comeback to Formula One last year and there's no reason to say I shouldn't enjoy the 2013 season too. I know there will be big changes to the cars and regulations for 2014, so who's to say that won't be exciting."

Raikkonen and his teammate Romain Grosjean will both be on the track for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 17.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
updated 10:59 AM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
updated 11:16 AM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
updated 9:08 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
updated 3:16 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
ADVERTISEMENT