Former F1 racer Stefan Johansson says doesn't doubt that Kimi Raikkonen has the desire needed to make a success of his return to F1 next season.
Raikkonen will head back to F1 after two seasons in the World Rally Championship having inked a deal to join Lotus, where he will be partnered by GP2 title winner Romain Grosjean.
However, Johansson said he didn't feel there was any need to question whether or not the 2008 title winner has the motivation or the speed needed to return to the grid with the Finn having the knowledge needed to fight for victories and a championship title if he has the car underneath him.
“The guy can race better than most people in the world can - we know that, we've seen that,” he told GP Update
. “You know as well as I do that there are plenty of quick drivers out there but, if you look back in history, there are only a few who know how to actually race and how to win a championship – I think that is quite reflective of the whole grid in Formula 1 at the moment, too.
“You have plenty of quick guys, but I think there are only a number that you can count with the fingers of one hand who actually know how to figure out how to win a championship and do what is required to do that – and I think Kimi is most certainly one of them.”
Johansson added his belief that Raikkonen will now have the hunger back that was missing in his final season with Ferrari with the only issue being if the new Lotus will be able to challenge at the front.
“I think he has had some time to reflect and I think he is hungrier than he has ever been,” he said. “I can only look back on my own career; when you get into it and you are young and you have a certain mindset but, as time goes by, you realise it is quite a unique situation that you are in, to have the opportunity to do this and do it well. So I think he will come back into it with a very fresh mindset. My biggest concern is: will the team be able to give him a competitive car? I think that is more of an issue.
“It is like Michael (Schumacher); his car clearly doesn't suit him at all and I think he has had a much tougher time than he expected to, but I think he has an even more unique driving style than Kimi. If you don't have the car it doesn't matter how good you are because you're not going to."