Abu Dhabi GP: Raikkonen hopes win boosts Lotus's confidence
|By Jonathan Noble and Matt Beer||Sunday, November 4th 2012, 15:25 GMT|
Kimi Raikkonen hopes his Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victory will give the Lotus team more belief in what it can achieve.
The result not only marked Raikkonen's first Formula 1 win since his 2009 Belgian GP triumph, but his team's return to the top step of the podium for the first time since Fernando Alonso won the '08 Japanese GP for the then-Renault branded squad.
The team was later rocked by the 2008 Singapore GP 'crashgate' scandal and sold by Renault, then lost its lead driver Robert Kubica following his horrendous pre-season rallying accident in 2011.
Lotus has shown strong signs of recovery this year with a string of podium finishes, and Raikkonen believes delivering a breakthrough victory will hugely boost morale.
"I am happy mainly for the team," said Raikkonen. "It has been a hard season for the team.
"Hopefully this gives a bit more belief, not just for the guys doing all the work but also the guys who own it.
"I hope it can turn the tables and we can win more this year and next year as well."
Raikkonen remained calm about his own achievement in winning in F1 again after a two-season break in the World Rally Championship.
"There is nothing to jump around about, we still have a few races to go," he said.
"We'll try to do the same again and sure we'll have a good party today and tomorrow when we feel bad after a long night we will remember what we felt like now."
The Finn had long insisted that Lotus had the speed to win races if he could qualify better. He started fourth in Abu Dhabi but jumped to second at the start behind Lewis Hamilton's McLaren, which later retired.
"We have been close a few times," Raikkonen said. "Even in the last race we had speed to win but if you do not start in front you see what happens.
"So the start was key. I think compared with McLaren we didn't have speed at the beginning of the race, but you have to finish the race."