Skip to main content

Kimi Raikkonen: Lotus can win F1 title

January 29, 2013 -- Updated 1806 GMT (0206 HKT)
Finland's Kimi Raikkonen was crowned the Formula One world champion while driving for Ferrari in 2007.
Finland's Kimi Raikkonen was crowned the Formula One world champion while driving for Ferrari in 2007.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kimi Raikkonen says he can win the world champions with Lotus
  • The Finn was crowned drivers' champion with Ferrari in 2007
  • Raikkonen finished 2012 in third position, behind Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso
  • His current deal with Lotus expires at the end of the season

(CNN) -- Never let it be said that Formula One driver Kimi Raikkonen is lacking in confidence.

Although he managed to finish third last season, the Finn was still a whopping 74 points behind world champion Sebastian Vettel, but former world champion Raikkonen remains confident that Lotus can challenge the sport's elite in the coming season.

"It's clear from working with them that they are racers, and you can see in their history that they've won championships," the 33-year-old driver, who won the drivers' championship with Ferrari in 2007, told Lotus' official website as the team became the first to unveil its new 2013 car this week.

The Finn made his return to F1 in 2012 after a two-year absence and propelled his Lotus car towards the front of the grid, grabbing a win at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on his way to finishing third in the drivers' championship.

Read: Motorcycling star Stoner switches to cars

"Nothing I saw last year made me think that another championship was impossible in the future," added Raikkonen. "Of course, there is some pretty tough competition out there and everyone wants to win.

"The team have beaten everyone before and there's nothing to say they can't do it again."

Many observers were surprised to see Raikkonen, who spent time racing in NASCAR and the World Rally Championship during his two-year absence, return to F1 and enjoy immediate success despite being a veteran of 19 previous grands prix wins.

Read: Hamilton not expecting miracles at Mercedes

But Raikkonen never lost doubt in his own ability as a driver.

"I knew I could still perform well in Formula 1 given the right opportunity," the Finn continued. "It was only other people who had doubts.

"There will be a new car which we'll want to develop and get working at its best. There are always changes in the sport; some small, some big. Generally everything's pretty similar, and the feeling of racing on track is pretty familiar."

Raikkonen is entering the final year of his contract with the British-based team, but he is yet to sit down and discuss his future.

"I'm not really thinking beyond this season at the moment, but I'm sure there will be talk before the end of the year," said Raikkonen, who will turn 34 in October.

"I enjoyed my comeback to Formula One last year and there's no reason to say I shouldn't enjoy the 2013 season too. I know there will be big changes to the cars and regulations for 2014, so who's to say that won't be exciting."

Raikkonen and his teammate Romain Grosjean will both be on the track for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 17.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1730 GMT (0130 HKT)
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1916 GMT (0316 HKT)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 2255 GMT (0655 HKT)
Susie Wolff
Despite being a sport well into its seventh decade, only two women have ever driven in Formula 1 but Susie Wolff hopes to become the third.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1736 GMT (0136 HKT)
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
January 22, 2014 -- Updated 1217 GMT (2017 HKT)
CNN's Rosie Tomkins speaks to Caterham F1 owner Tony Fernandes on the team's driver line-up for 2014.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
ADVERTISEMENT