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Raikkonen admits development key


Kimi Raikkonen says the ongoing development of the new E21 will be key in deciding how successful Lotus can be during the 2013 season on the back of his victory in Australia.

The Finn secured an impressive success in Melbourne for his second win since returning to the sport, making a two-stop strategy work to perfection as he beat Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel to the top step of the podium.

Lotus will hope that Raikkonen's win is the catalyst for a championship challenge during the year ahead, although the former champion admitted it would be a challenge for the team to keep pace with its rivals as the season goes on and the development battle hots up.

“There was a big question mark last year over whether our team could keep up with the development of the bigger teams and I don't think we did a bad job,” he said. “Of course it's not going to be easy for us. I'm sure we have the people and all the tools to make it happen. Budget is always a factor and it's no secret that we don't have the same money as Ferrari, Red Bull or Mercedes. If we did have more sponsors I'm sure we'd have a better chance in the battle against those teams.

“It's a long season. If you do things right it will go nicely but one thing can change the whole year. You do a few things a little bit wrong it can turn around and go downhill after that. So we just have to do our normal things, like we did last year and put the good effort into new parts and if we're happy we keep them and if not we have to look more closely. But like I said, so far it has been good, so there is no reason why we can't keep it up.”

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