Raikkonen urges focus on qualifying in 'special' Monaco

By on Saturday, May 18, 2013

Lotus F1 Team

Kimi Raikkonen says Lotus must focus on improving their qualifying pace at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Raikkonen sits in second place in the championship and has finished off of the podium just once this season.

However, Raikkonen has qualified on the front row only once in 2013 and has not secured pole position since the 2008 French Grand Prix.

"We have to focus on qualifying. It’s a difficult place to race as it’s so narrow and passing is nearly impossible. I was stuck behind Rubens [Barrichello] in 2009 and we had KERS then, but you just couldn’t get past," he said.

"We’ll have to see how the tyres perform and if there are any good strategies to be made, but the most important thing is to qualify well. It’s difficult to know how good the car will be in Monaco as you can’t simulate its characteristics; certainly not at any of the circuits we’ve visited so far this year anyway. We can say the E21’s been fast everywhere else so let’s hope it’s also fast there."

The Finn is adamant that Lotus won't make the same mistakes as in 2012, where a steering issue left a frustrated Raikkonen down in ninth place.

"We certainly won’t make the mistakes we made last time. There were a few things we didn’t do right over the weekend and we suffered because of that. Sometimes that’s the way it goes, but the important thing is not to make the same mistakes again."

Raikkonen added that a second Monaco victory would feel just as special as his first back in 2005, when racing for McLaren.

"I’ve only managed to get it right once before and you really experience the greatest feeling you can get by winning it. My win in 2005 ranks up there with my most memorable, so to win it again would be just as special.

"It’s such a narrow, twisty track; you have to be extra sharp and focused through every single metre. It gives such a good feeling; a fast lap around Monaco. Overtaking is almost impossible, so to really enjoy racing there you have to be in the front."

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