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Lopez 'excited' by Raikkonen arrival

Lotus Renault team owner Gerard Lopez has admitted that he is excited by what Kimi Raikkonen can bring to the Enstone squad next season.
Kimi Raikkonen's first visit to his new 'home' at Enstone prompted Lotus Renault team owner Gerard Lopez to reveal that he expects the Finn to play a key role in reviving the squad's fortunes.

Not a threat since its championship successes with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and 2006, the team enjoyed a brief glimpse of what might be when it topped the timesheets in pre-season testing and then claimed a brace of podium finishes in the opening two races of 2011, but faded badly enough since then to make simply scoring points a struggle.

Confirming Raikkonen as one of its drivers for 2012 on Tuesday, Lotus Renault naturally created expectations for next season, but Lopez sees the finn's arrival as the fiurst step towards reclaiming past glories.

“I think we decided that we had to look forward in terms of performance and the key way to see how good a car is, is to have a good driver," he was quoted by the team's official website, "Kimi has proven in the past that he is among the fastest and, in terms of age, he's still in his prime.

"In terms of motivation from what I have seen and spoken to him, he is probably as motivated as ever. And the more people question the better it is, because it is going to increase his motivation even more to prove that they are wrong.

"I'm excited that he is here because I think it's one of the very important steps in getting the team to where we want it to be – which is one of the top teams in F1.”

Perhaps fittingly, given his previous reputation, Raikkonen first visit to Enstone coincided with the team's Christmas party, but that did not prevent the 2007 world champion from getting a good flavour of what Lotus Renault had to offer during a brief factory tour.

“It is very nice to see the factory - and it feels good," Raikkonen commented, "It is a very warm feeling and I'm very relaxed."

That feeling extended to the Finn's view of the task ahead, Raikkonen admitting that he was not going to worry about what was expected of him.

"I haven't really read the newspapers about all the excitement, but it is quite normal, isn't it?" he noted, "It doesn't put any more pressure on me. I always try to do my best, so I don't put myself under pressure. It will be exciting, yes, but no pressure really and we will see how it goes.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
27.11.2011- Race, Bruno Senna (BRA), Lotus Renault GP R31 leads Jarno Trulli (ITA), Team Lotus, TL11
Gerard Lopez, Genii Capital, Renault R30 launch, Valencia, 2010 [pic credit: Renault F1]
Kimi Raikkonen - Lotus Renault GP
Kimi Raikkonen - Lotus Renault GP
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid leads Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16

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chimi - Unregistered

December 03, 2011 6:40 PM

@ smallprint I completely disagree with you. In 2008 until Spanish GP everything was looking fine for Kimi. Then came diasterous decisions from team and cruel luck. 1. Canadian GP: Hamilton rams his car into Kimis at a red signal in a pit lane .. Kimi was in lead 2. French GP: Kimi's car exhaust cracks .. Kimi was in lead. 3. British GP: Ferrari decide not to change his intermediete tyres and he suffers .. Kimi was in lead. 4. Belgian GP: Nico Rosberg misjudges the blue flag as a result of which Kimi has to move off the racing line and spin off ... Kimi was in lead. 5. Monaco Gp: He was on pole position, Ferrari could not get the tyres on time hand hence was given a drive through penalty. So that is 50 points at stake out of which he could earn only 8... so a deficit of 42 points. How many points did he lose the championship by? 23 !!! So do you call that under performance.??? no way ...!!!



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