Raikkonen, Lotus 'now a threat' for 2012 titles

Raikkonen, Lotus 'now a threat' for 2012 titles
By Eurosport

30/07/2012 at 16:51Updated 30/07/2012 at 19:54

Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus should now be considered as genuine contenders for the world championship, according to the other top teams in Formula 1.

Lotus's main rivals believe that the growing competitiveness of the Enstone-based outfit suggests a trend of form that could see it become even stronger in the second half of the campaign.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali feels that Lotus has not made the most of opportunities it had at the beginning of the year, which makes it potentially able to deliver even more in the remaining races.

"I was not surprised by Kimi because I have always thought Kimi is a very good driver and a world champion - which you don't do unless you have something special," he said.

"I think that Lotus didn't collect the points that they were able to collect. They have had a good car since the beginning, so they could have more points.

"They seem to be very gentle on the tyres too, and they will be a very good team in the second half of the season."

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: "Their car has been quick all year, and they have two good drivers, so Kimi is a factor in the drivers' championship.

"He is only one point behind Lewis [Hamilton], so it would be foolish to underestimate any of our rivals at the moment and there is still a long way to go."

McLaren sporting director Sam Michael added: "Yeah they are fast, but worrying about them doesn't do anything. You have to make the car faster."