Date: 12th March 2013 at 12:57pm
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Kimi Raikkonen told us last season he knew what he was doing.

The 2007 Formula One World Champion impressed during his comeback season in 2012 after taking two years away from the sport competing in NASCAR and the World Rally Championship.

The Lotus car in 2012 showed immense potential, threatening to win a race throughout the season and eventually in Abu Dhabi with just three races of the season remaining it achieved it.

This season the target is to improve upon what they achieved last season and when that was third in the Formula One Drivers championship behind Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel and fourth in the F1 constructors title behind McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull then the next step has to be to be in contention for the titles and that is what Kimi Raikkonen is telling us this week.

Does he still know what he’s doing when making such a bold claim?

‘I think you always want more, but this car is a pretty good starting point and we’ll see; hopefully we’re fast enough, I don’t think there’s any area where it feels worse than last year’s car; so far everything is better. We had good speed last year, but not enough to win the championship. Raikkonen told Sky Sports.

‘That means we need more speed this year. If we can get just a little more from the car and keep our consistency, with some better results at the beginning of the year, then we should have a much better chance.’

Lotus Technical Director James Allison has also backed his drivers ambition by saying: ‘It’s not beyond the realms of possibility.’

Everyone is expecting the field to have closed the gap during the winter, whenever there is a fairly stable set of regulations, which do not change for a number of years the gap does close and the races get closer.

Last season Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus, Mercedes and Williams all managed to win a race. The latter two may well have done so due to the unpredictable performance of the Pirelli tyres at the time, but do not discount both of those teams and Lotus repeating the feat this season.

The likes of Sauber and Force India could well have also closed the gap to compete for regular points paying positions.

With so many drivers capable of winning and standing on the podium, consistency will be key to winning the title in 2013 and one of the most consistent drivers on the grid is the Iceman Kimi Raikkonen.

The Lotus might not be the best car on the grid, but would you bet against him pulling off an upset?