Lotus says Raikkonen, Grosjean its 'trump card' for 2013
|By Edd Straw||Thursday, January 31st 2013, 15:11 GMT|
Lotus technical director James Allison believes his team's driver line-up will prove to be its "trump card" in 2013.
Lotus unveiled its striking new E21 challenger at Enstone on Monday and Allison is certain that Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean will do the new machine justice.
"By far and away the biggest trump card we have to play this year is that we have got two drivers who start the year [in strong shape]," Allison told AUTOSPORT.
"One of them [Raikkonen] had a brilliant season last year and really got up to speed quite swiftly and no-one would deny that in the last half of the year his driving was absolutely top drawer stuff.
"Obviously, Romain had a few well-publicised moments and I think they will be useful lessons learned for him so he will have a much more productive year.
"We're going to start with two drivers that are properly competitive and are going to put a lot of points down the oppositions' throats."
Team principal Eric Boullier described his line-up as "the best pair of drivers that you can have on paper" and sees Raikkonen as its best shot for the title at the start of the season.
"He is definitely the lead driver in the team, even though they have equal status and both cars are technically very similar," Boullier told AUTOSPORT.
"Kimi is the natural fit to be the lead driver, but then we will see how the season develops."
But he added that he has no doubts about Grosjean's ability to iron out the mistakes that blighted the Franco-Swiss driver's 2012 campaign.
The 2011 GP2 champion has focused on the mental side of his game over the winter and is now ready to make the step up a level.
"There's no question mark now," said Boullier. "His approach is the right one.
"He has rebuilt his confidence and is more motivated than ever."
* For an in-depth look at the new Lotus E21 and the team's climb to the brink of the top three, read the latest AUTOSPORT magazine