Kimi all out for Spa victory
Kimi Raikkonen is hoping to strengthen his bid for the world title with a win at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
The 2007 champion secured second for Lotus last time out when he finished just a second behind Lewis Hamilton, of McLaren, at the Hungarian Grand Prix before the summer break.
Although the Finn has finished on the podium on four occasions, he is still in search of his first win since his return and is currently fifth in the title race, 48 points behind championship leader Fernando Alonso, of Ferrari.
In spite of this, the 32-year-old has won four times at the fast-paced Spa Francorchamps circuit and recognised the impact a strong result will have on his claims for world title glory.
“I am now fifth in the championship and obviously aiming at getting more points than the guys in front of me,” he said.
“The smaller the gap to the leaders is, the better for me and for the team.
“Usually I’ve achieved good results at the Belgian Grand Prix, but what’s happened before doesn’t help me right now,” he explained.
“Saying that though it doesn’t do any harm either. Obviously, it would be great to win at Spa for a fifth time. I haven’t won during the first part of the season and the extra points are always good.”
Although Raikkonen and his Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean showed excellent race pace during the first half of the season, the pair struggled to match the rival teams during qualifying.
Raikkonen acknowledged he cannot afford to lose any more ground in the title race and insisted his team were focused on improving his car’s performance for the remaining nine races to help secure the elusive victory.
He said: “Every race from here on is very important.
“The whole team is pushing 100 per cent and we need to beat our rivals and take more points than they do every time. We always try to win; some days you get close to it and it’s a bit disappointing that we haven’t quite made that final step.
“We know the reason though; we’ve not been so strong in qualifying as we have in the race which makes life harder for ourselves on Sundays.
“Of course, we would rather win than come second or third but it’s a long season and I think we’re improving all the time. If it comes then great, if not we’ll keep trying.
“I’ve been in the business long enough that I don’t really worry about things too much. We’ve been improving our position in the championships – both for myself and for the team – so as long as we keep doing that hopefully the win will come.”