Kimi Raikkonen says he is encouraged by Lotus' start to the 2012 F1 season, even if the results so far haven't matched the potential of the new E20.

The Finn has scored points in both races run so far, but was forced to battle back from a difficult qualifying session in Australia and then from a five place grid penalty in Malaysia.

Admitting it had been frustrating to face some of the problems that Lotus has been forced to deal with, the former champion said that the Enstone-based team had the pace needed to run at the front and now just needed more luck to realise its potential.

"I think we've got off to an encouraging start," he said. "It's been frustrating sometimes with the chassis issues in testing, the qualifying mix-up in Australia and the gearbox change in Malaysia, but we've shown we can deal with any problems and come back stronger.

"It feels like I've never been away; the team has done a good job and I'm working well with them which makes things easier. The car feels good and we clearly have the pace to be at the front; we just need some better luck."

Raikkonen added that he didn't feel any different as a driver than when he last raced in F1 with Ferrari, saying that any apparent changes to his personality were down in no small part to the team around him.

"I'm still the same person as I was before," he said. "Maybe people see me as more relaxed, which I think is down to the team. It's a different atmosphere to what I've experienced before; everyone is very open and laid back but at the same time they work extremely hard and pay a lot of attention to detail.

"I feel comfortable here which helps me to focus on racing; I guess that's why people seem to think I'm a different person, but I'm just as focused and motivated as before."


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