Kimi Raikkonen insists that his victory in last weekend's Australian Grand Prix does not automatically make him the favourite to succeed again, either this weekend or over the course of the 2013 F1 season.
Speaking on the eve of round two in Malaysia, the start of which comes just over four days after he crossed the line to take victory for Lotus in Melbourne, the Finn claimed that things remained uncertain in the F1 field, particularly as Sepang represents the toughest test faced by the cars so far this year.
“There's no target [on our back],” he maintained, “We won't do anything different this weekend than we did in the previous race - or last year. If people think that we are leaders, it makes no difference to our work, what we did or what we're going to do this weekend or any other weekend. Like I said, we try to do best and hopefully we can score some good points.
“We don't know [how we'll do in Malaysia] yet. Last year, we were pretty good when it was hot and, actually, it was better for us, but obviously we haven't run in these kind of conditions [in 2013] and the winter has been very cold, so I have no idea [how'll we'll perform]. If it's anything like it was last year, we should be pretty okay, but we have to wait and see how it goes.”
Although he was able to take a comfortable victory on Sunday, earlier in the day Raikkonen had trailed Sebastian Vettel by over a second in qualifying, but the Finn believes that the real margin is probably closer than that.
“I wouldn't say that qualifying was a very normal situation with all the weather,” he noted, referring to the 17-hour delay that saw Q2 and Q3 take place on Sunday morning, “If it was normal dry conditions, I'm pretty sure we are closer. We will wait and see when we get a normal qualifying, [but] I'm sure we are not a second behind, or 1.4 seconds, whatever it was.”