Australian GP: Raikkonen thinks Lotus has reduced gap to the front

Kimi Raikkonen thinks that Lotus is closer to the front than it was this time last year, but concedes that Sebastian Vettel is clearly ahead

Australian GP: Raikkonen thinks Lotus has reduced gap to the front

With the opening practice day for the Australian Grand Prix pointing towards Red Bull being clear at the front, Raikkonen sees nothing to suggest that his outfit is not in the chasing pack behind.

"I think even compared to the last races [of 2012], it feels like we are a bit closer," said Raikkonen, when asked if he felt Lotus was stronger than 12 months ago.

"We saw Vettel being fast today but all the rest, everybody else, it looks tight and they are close to each other.

"But it is only the first Friday. So let's see how it goes in the first two races and we will go from there."

The fact that Vettel's pace-setting time came after his super soft tyres were past their best points to the German having a significant advantage.

However, Raikkonen does not think that Lotus has shown its best potential just yet either.

"For sure we can improve ourselves also quite a bit," he explained. "They [Red Bull] were fast on the harder tyres, so you expect that they would have been a bit faster on the super soft. But you never know.

"Some other teams did not improve so much with the super soft. But it is what it is and the race is a different story. It is just the first Friday."

AUTOSPORT Australian GP coverage:

FP1 FP2 Qualifying Race Gallery Live commentary Official quotes

shares
comments
Australian GP Friday quotes: McLaren

Previous article

Australian GP Friday quotes: McLaren

Next article

Australian GP: Alonso says practice confirmed Ferrari is stronger

Australian GP: Alonso says practice confirmed Ferrari is stronger
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Team Lotus , Lotus F1 Team
Author Jonathan Noble
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021