Kimi Raikkonen says he won't let external pressures and expectations distract him from his own goals as he prepares to kick-start a potentially pivotal Formula 1 World Championship campaign.
Though his 2015 season proved a vast improvement on his 2014 campaign, his first since returning to the Ferrari team he won his world title with, Raikkonen was comprehensively out-performed by three-time race winning team Sebastian Vettel.
With a series of inconsistent performances putting his seat under threat coming into the summer, Raikkonen was eventually retained but on a one year deal only.
Nonetheless, despite strong targets coming from Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne and team principal Maurizio Arrivabene, Raikkonen is refusing to let outside distractions influence his own lofty aims.
“We know what people expect from us,” the 2007 world champion said. “Obviously our own goals as a team and the drivers is to improve on last year. That's the aim for all of us. We can say this has to happen or this is what we want, but is it going to happen? I don't know.
“Like I said before, we all do our work and preparations to achieve the goals that all of us as a team wants. People put on pressure but it's the same goal.
“It doesn't matter if there is pressure or not, that's what we want. Hopefully we can manage to do that, but it's not going to be easy. Hopefully we can give it a good fight at least.”
The 2016 F1 season kicks off with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on 18-20 March.