After seeing his World Championship hopes take a hit in recent races, Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen is hoping to revitalize them next weekend at the British Grand Prix, where he last won in 2007 for Ferrari.
Raikkonen has fallen back to third in the drivers’ table behind Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso following finishes of 10th at Monaco and ninth at the most recent race in Canada – a stretch that he believes was more about “surviving, not attacking,” which, in his eyes, is counter-productive.
After dealing with more unpredictable street circuits, he’s hopeful that a return to a more “normal” track like Silverstone will help both him and teammate Romain Grosjean get back to proper business.
“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be back to the positions we should be with this package,” Raikkonen said in a team release. “We just have to be patient, do our very best over the entire weekend and step by step, we can start catching the leaders.”
Raikkonen is also counting on added performance thanks to a major series of upgrades on the Lotus E21 that will debut in Britain. According to comments from the team’s track operations director, Alan Permane, those upgrades include a new front wing and suspension profiles, as well as multiple suspension and aerodynamic changes.
That’s made Raikkonen believe that his car can perform strongly at Silverstone, particularly in its series of quicker turns.
“Silverstone is all about long, sweeping, high-speed corners and high downforce levels,” he said. “It’s one of the fastest circuits on the calendar – it’s very challenging and the flowing corners are pretty good fun to drive.
“Hopefully, our new parts will help us, particularly in the faster corners. If that’s the case, it could be a good weekend.”
You can see if Raikkonen and the Lotus camp are back on form at the British Grand Prix, which will broadcast live next Sunday morning, June 30, at 7:30 a.m. ET on CNBC.