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Raikkonen: We must qualify higher up the grid 03 May 2013

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 14 April 2013 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 20 April 2013 The Lotus E21 of Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) is prepared on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Race Day, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 14 April 2013

Kimi Raikkonen says that Lotus must focus on improving their qualifying pace if they are to consistently fight for victories and challenge for the championship.

The Finn has stood on the podium as many times as championship leader Sebastian Vettel this season, but whereas the German has started from the front row in all but one race, Raikkonen has qualified seventh or lower on three occasions - a factor he clearly believes has contributed to his ten-point deficit in the driver standings.

“To catch the leaders we need to work twice as hard as they are,” Raikkonen said. “It’s no secret that we want more speed from the car in qualifying; it’s so tight up there at the front and we really need to be on the first two rows to fight for victories every time.

“For sure we’re in a better position than this time last year, but there’s a long season ahead and it’s too early to say if we can fight for the championships right to the end.

“It’s going to be hard to catch Sebastian if he keeps taking good results so we need to start taking more points from him, but you never know what can happen. We’ll keep pushing to improve the car and see where we end up.”

Like the majority of teams, technical director James Allison has said that Lotus will be running an extensive number of updates on the E21 at next weekend’s Formula 1 Gran Premio de España 2013 at Barcelona.

"Nothing revolutionary, but plenty which should help us go faster,” he confirmed. "We have new front wing endplate detailing, new aero around the rear drums, modifications to the diffuser and a different top rear wing so there's plenty to help keep us in the hunt."

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