Sports article on Raikkonen looks to cap comeback in Spain regarding Podium, Teams, Bahrain, Lotus, Major, Close, Mugello, Barcelona, Track, Grand, Regular, Visitors
Kimi Raikkonen has warned he is determined to prove he is back to his best at next weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.
The 32-year-old Finn is rapidly earning praise as 'the comeback kid' after taking a two-year break to go and try his hand in rallying.
He finished second for Lotus in last month's Bahrain Grand Prix when he looked strong enough to win and is now aiming for a 19th career win in Barcelona on May 13.
"I am feeling good and all I want to do now is to race and to win," he warned.
"The car feels good everywhere we've been so far so that is the target for me and for the team.
"We want to win Grands Prix - we have a good car and we saw in Bahrain that it is good enough to win."
Raikkonen expressed his confidence in a team preview for the race at the Circuit de Catalunya where he won twice - in 2005 for McLaren and 2008 for Ferrari.
Despite being under no illusions about how close things are at the front of the grid, he is equally confident that Lotus, formerly Renault, have given him a car capable of doing the job and can build on their double podium finish in Bahrain.
"I never had any doubts in myself and it is clear we have a good car so in some ways the podium could have come sooner," said Raikkonen.
"We had the car already in the first three races to be up there, but we made some small mistakes and it cost us a lot.
"I would have been much happier if we had managed to get the victory, but nevertheless it's a good result and the team deserved it for all their hard work.
"We have been good in every race so far, so hopefully we will be regular visitors to the podium this season."
He added: "I expect Lotus to be very competitive at Barcelona. It's going to be very, very close between the top teams.
"This is the only circuit where the teams have already tested with the new cars, and the set up is crucial as the track changes with the wind and temperature.
"All the teams have updates for the first European race, which makes it even more interesting and even tighter at the top."
Raikkonen added that he would not suffer any disadvantage because he missed out on this week's first major in-season test at Mugello in Italy.
"We didn't have any major new parts to test and we don't race at Mugello so I was not crying when it was decided that I wouldn't test," he said.
"I know the track well. but there was no need for me to drive. I am here to race and that is what I will do in Barcelona. Let's see how we do!"