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Stewart lauds 'amazing' Raikkonen

Jackie Stewart praises Lotus for a double podium in Bahrain
Sir Jackie Stewart has praised Kimi Raikkonen for an 'amazing' performance in the Bahrain Grand Prix, arguing that second place for the Lotus driver at the Sakhir circuit showed he can still do a job in F1.

Raikkonen's decision to return to the sport after two years away led some to question whether he still had what it takes to challenge at the front of the F1 field.

However, a stunning performance in Bahrain saw Raikkonen storm through the field from eleventh on the grid to finish second, as Lotus finally lived up to the potential shown during pre-season testing.

With team-mate Romain Grosjean in third, Lotus had double reason to cheer and while Stewart was quick to praise both drivers, he said Raikkonen's display was one that would defy the critics who claimed he wasn't capable of a return.

“It's a genuinely great performance by a very good team of people who have come together so well,” he told the Scotsman. “It's not been easy to take over a team, to get them to gel and get them all to come together. But it was a great performance, and I'm sure everybody back at Enstone must be out of their mind with joy.

“Kimi's performance, in particular, after so many people had doubted whether he could come back and be successful, was amazing. Most people thought he wouldn't have the fitness to do a whole race. A lot of people were making those kind of comments. So to come back and answer them like he did, and in only his fourth race... and he could have won it, it was that close at one point.

“As for Grosjean, in his first full proper season, it was a very mature drive. He didn't make any mistakes, stayed out of trouble. So I'm thrilled for the whole team, and the other side is that Colin Chapman must be pretty pleased up there looking down.

“They've hardly had any success since the team broke up, so it's great, fantastic.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
22.04.2012- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 race winner, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20 2nd position and Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E20 3rd position
22.04.2012- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20 2nd position and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 race winner
22.04.2012- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 Team E20 2nd position
John Watson driving the McLaren MP4B at the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, Las Vegas
Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
2014 FIA European F3 champion Esteban Ocon is to test with Lotus F1
12.10.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, the start
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Vitaly Mutko (RUS) Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in the press conference after the race
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 celebrates Manufactor title of Mercedes with the team
12.10.2014- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
12.10.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014-  Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 with a fan
12.10.2014- Fabiana Flosi (BRA)

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