Kimi Raikkonen is preparing to take on the streets of Monaco at next weekend’s grand prix as he looks to repeat his 2005 victory in the principality.
The flying Finn has conceded that Lotus’ qualifying form has been slack of late, but he is sure that the team can make up for it in the race, even with the track posing a greater challenge to the drivers and teams.
“We have to focus on qualifying. It’s a difficult place to race as it’s so narrow and passing is nearly impossible,” Raikkonen said in a team statement. “We’ll do the best we can, but of course everyone will be trying to be on the front row. It’s not impossible for us, but we won’t know how good we are until we get there.”
Raikkonen believes that his best chance will come by running an alternative strategy to the front runners, with the move paying off in Australia and last time out in Spain.
“We know that tire changes have to be made so there are opportunities if you run a different strategy to your rivals, but it’s certainly more difficult here than anywhere else.”
When asked about his 2005 victory, Raikkonen made no secret of his pride, ranking it amongst his best moments in motorsport.
“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.”
Lotus will be hoping to cut the gap to Red Bull and Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, and Raikkonen could take the lead of the drivers’ title race if he manages to overturn the four point gap to Sebastian Vettel at the top.