Kimi Raikkonen hopes he will fight for wins again this season
|By Simon Strang||Sunday, April 22nd 2012, 14:54 GMT|
Kimi Raikkonen believes that he will be in with a chance to win grands prix again this season after losing out in a close battle to world champion Sebastian Vettel in Bahrain.
Raikkonen, just four races into his comeback with Lotus, scored a fantastic second place at Sakhir having challenged Vettel for the lead during the final stint of the race.
He couldn't get past the Red Bull and settled for second once the grip from his tyres began to fade away.
The Finn admitted afterwards that he was disappointed to have missed out on a 19th career victory, but said he was sure that he would be able to fight for wins again this year.
"Of course I wanted to win and would have been much happier in myself if I had won but nevertheless the team deserved what they got and hopefully we can put ourselves in this position more often," he said afterwards.
"We had the car already in the first three races to be up there but we made some small mistakes and it cost us too much.
"Today wasn't far away. I really should have made it but I didn't so, like I said hopefully we can put ourselves in this position more often to have a chance. But we have to work hard and improve certain areas of the car and I'm sure we can be up there more often and try to get the win.
Raikkonen admitted that he didn't make the most of his one realistic opportunity to pass Vettel on lap 36.
"We got one try on Sebastian but I couldn't use it because I chose the wrong side and then my tyres dropped off and that was it.
"I pretty much knew that was my only chance."
The 32-year-old also reckons that he could have won the race had he not dropped behind the Ferrari's at the start and engaged in a wheel-banging battle with Felipe Massa.
"We gave ourselves a chance at least and it's a bit disappointing that we didn't manage to do it, but I made a small mistake at the beginning, lost one place to a Ferrari and I had to re-overtake him and that took a little time.
"I could pass the people quite easily but if you look in the end it still look too long and we couldn't win the race.
"After the last race when we tried hard and then we failed, I think people probably thought we were a bit stupid, but even after yesterday what we did, but it turned out to be right decision.
"I think the team deserves what we achieved now, we have been working hard in the background and I have not been 100 per cent happy with how the weekends had been gone so far, but we finally got some proper results for the team so it is an important step."
Another battle for second position with his team-mate Romain Grosjean also hindered Raikkonen's progress in his pursuit of Vettel.
"Yeah, but there are no team orders, we know the rules - I tried to get past as quickly as I can, but it is always easy with two similar cars so," he said. "It's always easy afterwards to say we should have done that but in the end we were not fast enough to win so we had to take second."