Kimi Raikkonen says he will keep pushing hard in his final races for Lotus, starting with this coming weekend's 2013 F1 Indian Grand Prix.
The Finn goes into the race chasing a third podium finish in four starts as the Enstone-based team seeks to try and chase down Ferrari and Mercedes in the Constructors' championship.
Having only managed to take fifth last time out at Suzuka, Raikkonen said he was keen to try and improve his qualifying performance at the Buddh International Circuit in order to challenge at the front of the pack.
“Unfortunately when you don't have an ideal qualifying it makes life a bit harder on Sunday,” he said as he reflected on his weekend in Japan. “It's not easy to overtake at Suzuka and we weren't so fast in a straight line which made it more tricky, but I got past a few people which was important after the slow start. With Nico [Hulkenberg] I managed to get a good run on him leading up to the chicane which is what made the difference. We did what we could.
“Hopefully we finally get it right in qualifying [in India] as the last five qualifying sessions have not been that great for me. If we don't, it's going to be a difficult Sunday afternoon, although of course we'll keep pushing. If we do get it right, then we can really go for it!”
Raikkonen will be competing in India for the second time and admitted he was keen for a better time than in 2012, when grip issues worked against him.
“It's quite an interesting track; one of the better ones from the modern circuits,” he said. “It's quite similar to Korea; long straights, not terribly challenging corners and hard braking. It's not as technical as Korea which was another new track for me last year, but it's good. It's always nice to go to a new place like India. It's certainly a good track to go fast with a strong car in front of all the others!
“We struggled for grip over the weekend last year and we made life difficult with the change of setup before qualifying. After that there was nothing really to do on Sunday. In the race itself we had enough speed to challenge for the top positions, but we got stuck behind slower cars and overtaking was impossible. I can remember spending a lot of the race trying to get past Felipe [Massa] so that wasn't ideal.”