Lotus owner Gerard Lopez said Kimi Raikkonen has the ‘enthusiasm and desire’ which has allowed him to be a competitive Formula One driver once again, according to ESPN.
Questions had been raised over Raikkonen’s casual approach and his distaste towards making commitments to the media and disliking sponsorship. This had expressed doubt over whether he would be motivated when returning to Formula One during the beginning of last season.
However, Raikkonen gave an outstanding performance in 2012 as he finished third in the drivers’ championship and won the Abu Dhabi GP.
“That makes me smile,” Lopez told La Gazzetta Dello Sport. “I was sure it would be like this as Raikkonen put in a great work load to compliment his talent and the results are the fruit of that. Here he feels like he is being used for what’s most important and for the rest of the time he is free.”
Meanwhile, Raikkonen’s teammate Romain Grosjean found himself in a difficult position during the first full season as he faced a ban for one race due to a first-corner accident in Belgium. Lopez though believes Grosjean’s raw pace would help him this season.
“There were four drivers who had more reprimands than him, but they took part in every race and Grosjean was instead banned for the Italian Grand Prix. However, he has shown that he is quick — I’m expecting a lot from him this year.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2013.