Kimi Raikkonen says he hopes Lotus can bounce back to form when F1 heads to Shanghai next weekend for the Chinese Grand Prix.
Having taken victory in Melbourne during the first race of the year, Raikkonen endured a more trying weekend at Sepang as he came home seventh – leaving him in second spot in the standings going into the Chinese race.
Lotus are set to introduce a number of new upgrades onto the E21 for the Shanghai event and Raikkonen said he was confident of a strong weekend as long as rain stays away, with the mixed conditions in Malaysia having played a part in his result on track.
“It's always difficult to predict what will happen in the next race as we haven't been there yet with this car, and every car reacts differently to each circuit,” he said. “Unfortunately we didn't achieve any points there last year so we can only improve from that. I have been first, second and third in Shanghai in previous years so it would be nice to add to that list. There's no reason why we shouldn't go well there; we have some new parts for the E21 and the last upgrades we had seemed to help so it will be interesting to see what will happen if it doesn't rain.”
Shanghai was the only circuit where Raikkonen didn't score last year after a gamble on strategy failed to pay off but he said he was confident there would be no repeat this time around.
“There was some good racing and it looked like a strong result could have been possible, but we ran out of rubber during the final stint and didn't score any points,” he said, looking back at the 2012 race. “Hopefully we'll be a little bit more lucky with the tyre performance this time and well prepared from a strategy point of view.
“We had the race pace in 2012, that's true, but we tried to carry on with our tyres for too long. They dropped off, and that was it. On the other hand without trying to push with those tactics, we would never have been fighting for top positions.
“If you look at last year we didn't have a bad car for China, and if we get the car working as well as we did on Friday at Sepang, we should do well in Shanghai too.”