Abu Dhabi GP: Raikkonen sure he can fight Red Bull in the race
|By Edd Straw||Saturday, November 3rd 2012, 16:50 GMT|
Kimi Raikkonen is certain the he has the pace to challenge the Red Bulls in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Lotus driver qualified fifth and is confident that with a good start, he could get ahead of the Williams of Pastor Maldonado and attack Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
He pointed to the impressive race pace of the Lotus in the Indian Grand Prix as proof that he can fight for "any position" but admits that getting stuck behind a slower car will cost him.
"If we get behind the Red Bulls after the start, we have a good chance to stay with them and hopefully do something about them," said Raikkonen when asked by AUTOSPORT about his hopes of taking the fight to the championship-leading outfit.
"But if we are stuck behind a slower car, the only chance is either they make a mistake and we pass them, or we pass them in the pit-stops. Then, it's too late to do anything about the guys in front.
"It's a similar story to the last race. If we had qualified where we should have, it would have turned out to be a completely different race.
"Hopefully we will get behind the Red Bulls, follow them and do something about them."
Raikkonen admitted that the Lotus's lack of straightline speed will make it difficult to overtake.
But he is hopeful that there will be opportunities to jump cars in the pit-stops.
"If you are stuck behind another car with our straightline speed [it is difficult] and here you don't see much overtaking," said Raikkonen.
"We had the speed last time [India] in terms of laptime, but not in a straightline. It hasn't changed at all.
"If we can put ourselves behind the cars that have similar speed, we can follow and try to do something at the pitstop."