Raikkonen unconcerned by lack of pace

  • Last Updated: October 12 2012, 13:09 BST

Kimi Raikkonen insists he does not care about his lack of pace in Korean Grand Prix practice and fully expects Lotus to take a big step forward as the weekend progresses.

Kimi Raikkonen: Unconcerned

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The Finn is in danger of becoming the forgotten man of the battle for this year's World Championship.

With leader Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel separated by just four points at the top of the standings and Lewis Hamilton 38 further back, many have overlooked the fact that Raikkonen is above the McLaren driver by five points.

Raikkonen is the only one of the title protagonists not to have won a race, despite impressing during his comeback season after a two-year stint in rallying.

To that end Lotus have brought a new Coanda effect exhaust system to Yeongam, and dabbled with a 'Double DRS' device at recent rounds, as they look to keep him in the title picture.

But on a "difficult" Friday for the team Raikkonen could only manage 11th and 10th fastest times, and was a second adrift of Vettel's pacesetting Red Bull in the afternoon session.

But the 2007 world champion expects an improvement to be seen on Saturday, and was quick to point out Friday times count for little.

"Friday is when you try different things as it is the only time you can test different things. You want to get the car right and you have to test," he said.

"I don't care about the laptime, if you get a good understanding of the stuff you can try and put it together tomorrow.

"I would think we expected a bit more (from the exhaust system) than what we have seen so far but it is too early to say.

"We are more or less where we usually are on a Friday and hopefully we can improve the car and be faster tomorrow.

"I would not say the car felt very good today but we were maybe one second off the pace and if we get it right we can easily get better, although other people might improve also."

Lotus are set to continue to use the new system over the rest of the weekend, and while he lacked pace, Raikkonen was at least able to report no teething problems with the exhaust.

"There were certain things we had to try and it takes time but there were no issues that we could not run because of it," he said.

"It was just normal things you do when you have a new part, you do some check-ups and unfortunately some things that you change take time."

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