Kimi Raikkonen says he is still sure that Lotus can secure victory before the end of the 2012 F1 season to ensure that the E20 will go into the record books as a winner.
The team has been tipped for victory on more than one occasion over the course of the season but has yet to break onto the top step of the podium, despite Raikkonen and team-mate Romain Grosjean both securing top three finishes.
Raikkonen sits fourth in the championship standings going into the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend and he said he was sure that Lotus can be winners before the season ends – but only if it learns the lessons of issues it has faced through the first half of the year.
“Well, it hasn't won any races, so it's not a winner,” he said of the current Lotus machine. “I mean, we have a good package but for many races we probably haven't got the best out of it in all conditions at all races but that's up to us. We are still pretty happy but of course you want to do better. We wish to win races but it hasn't happened so far, so hopefully we can win some this year. It's not easy and we know that. We keep trying to improve things and learn from the things that we do and we'll see what we can do in the second part [of the season].
“We had a good speed last weekend, apart from the rain. We couldn't get anything in the rain for some reason. That really put us in a not very good position. If it's a dry weekend... the car has been good in the wet in Silverstone but for some reason not in qualifying in the last race. I think we're finding the place where I want to be with the car and the set-up and things like that and hopefully we can be a bit better here than we were last week.”
Raikkonen did however concede that one area where Lotus can still improve is in its power steering, after the Finn was forced to content with a number of issues earlier on the year.
“Like I always said, it's not perfect – it's still not – it's improved a lot since we started,” he said. “But still a way to go. It's OK to race, it's not like it's somehow going to make me one second faster or half a second faster if we going to get it exactly as we want. And this is… I know that I've driven better ones and there's definitely still things that we can improve. We're working for it, but it's not the easiest thing to get right. So we have to work on those and hopefully at some point we will get it exactly as we want.”