Kimi Raikkonen insists that victories are now the target for Lotus on the back of a double podium finish last time out in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Enstone-based team followed up its performance at the Sakhir circuit with an impressive performance in the three-day test at Mugello, where Romain Grosjean went quickest on the final two days.
Speaking ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, Raikkonen insisted that the target now is to try and challenge for a place on the top step of the podium and take the fight to the likes of Red Bull and McLaren for regular race victories.
“I never had any doubts in myself and it is clear we have a good car so in some ways the podium could have come sooner,” he said. “We had the car already in the first three races to be up there, but we made some small mistakes and it cost us a lot. I would have been much happier if we had managed to get the victory, but nevertheless it's a good result and the team deserved it for all their hard work. We have been good in every race so far, so hopefully we will be regular visitors to the podium this season.
“I am here to race and I race to win. That is the target for me and the team. We want to win Grands Prix. We have a good car and we saw in Bahrain it is good enough to win. That's the target.”
Raikkonen added that he felt confident that the Lotus E20 will be strong in Spain although he predicted a tight affair as teams introduce a number of upgrades for the first event back on European soil.
“[Catalunya is] a challenging circuit - great fun with a good car, but not that great with a not so good car,” he said. “Usually a car going well in Barcelona, goes well everywhere. We had a good car there for the second pre-season test even if the car wasn't quite together for the first one.The car has improved and I feel more comfortable in it.
“I expect Lotus to be very competitive at Barcelona. It's going to be very, very close between the top teams. This is the only circuit where the teams have already tested with the new cars, and the set up is crucial as the track changes with the wind and temperature. All the teams have updates for the first European race, which makes it even more interesting and even tighter at the top.”