Raikkonen needs top eight car to stay with Lotus in 2013

By on Friday, February 17, 2012

Raikkonen: Can he deliver this year?

Kimi Raikkonen's contract for 2013 is dependent on him finishing in the top eight of the driver's championship this year, according to a report from Autosport. It was announced by Lotus that Raikkonen had signed a two-year contract with the team but it is rumoured that he will be free to leave the team after the 2012 season if the car is not up to scratch.

However, a top eight finish for Raikkonen in the driver's championship should not be too difficult of a task, assuming that the Lotus can build a strong platform for their new 2012 car. Based on the Jerez tests, the body language in the Lotus garage was one of quiet confidence, even though drawing conclusions from the test results is an unreliable practice.

The Lotus E20 appeared to be both super-reliable and consistently strong in pace, with Raikkonen posting the fastest time on the first day of the Jerez testing and Romain Grosjean setting the fastest time overall for a 2012-spec car. The team completed 404 laps over the four days, more than any other team. Lotus was also able to complete most of their planned testing programme.

Raikkonen has also insisted that motivation was never an issue for him during his last stint in Formula 1 and says he will drive to the best of his ability even if the car is not a race-winning car.

"The problem is not motivation if the car is shit - you just drive your best and don't get results. It's not always the driver's fault, but it's easier to blame the guy who is in the car. My feeling was that I drove one of my best years in 2009 so I was very happy with that."

"The last Ferrari I drove wasn't always at the front and I had some pretty good races. I won't give up if I'm, say, eighth. As long as I know that I am giving 100 per cent, I am happy with my driving. If it's not enough, it doesn't matter," said Raikkonen.

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