Kimi Raikkonen says he is prepared to fight in the midfield when he returns to F1 with Lotus this season and doesn't expect to be running at the front of the field from the outset.

The Finn returns to the sport after two seasons away in the WRC having inked a deal with the former Renault team for the new season, partnering Romain Grosjean in a new-look line-up for the Grove-based outfit.

Raikkonen completed two days of running in a 2010-spec Renault this week to re-acclimatise himself to a single-seater and he admitted that he didn't expect to be fighting for victories as soon as he makes his return to competitive action.

"We try to do as well as we can of course in every race, but it's very difficult to say," he told BBC Sport when asked what his targets are for the year ahead. "We have to see how the car is in the testing and go from there.

"Hopefully we can have a good car to challenge in front and that would be nice, but if not we try to improve it and go to the front. I expect to have to fight in the middle group, but it will not be a drama. It's no different to my last year at Ferrari.

"The team has everything we need to produce a good car. We are not missing something that's the reason we don't have a good car. The people are very keen to have a good year. The atmosphere is great, it is a bit more family like than in other big teams, very nice people to work with and I've been enjoying it so far."

Raikkonen's test in Valencia was the first time he had driven an F1 car since his final outing for Ferrari in the 2009 season finale.


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