by Renee Israel
The first four Formula 1 races of the year have seen four different winners
and Kimi Raikkonen, driving for Lotus, has staked his claim in Sunday's
2012 Spanish Grand Prix at the Catalunya Circuit in Barcelona.
And Raikkonen's claim is not without substance considering he finished second
in the recent Bahrain Grand Prix, and he has won the Spanish Grand Prix twice
before, in 2005 and 2008. In addition, his lap record of 1:21.670 at the
Catalunya Circuit which he set in the 2008 Spanish Grand Prix still stands.
In an interview before the race Raikkonen stated in no uncertain terms, "I am
here to race and I race to win. That is the target for me and the team." He said
that their car is good as the race in Bahrain demonstrated and he has never
doubted his ability.
Raikkonen said he had expected a podium finish to come earlier in the season,
but that his team has made some mistakes and paid the price. He ended the
interview saying, "We have been good in every race so far, so hopefully we will
be regular visitors to the podium this season."
Raikkonen Won 2007 F1 Drivers' Championship
The Finnish driver won the F1 Drivers' Championship in 2007 with Ferrari
before spending the next two years racing for Sauber and McLaren. He then left
Formula 1 for the World Rally Championship. However, the Enstone-based Lotus
team persuaded Raikkonen to return to F1 this year, and he has not disappointed.
But Sebastian Vettel will stand in Raikkonen's way for a victory in the 2012
Spanish Grand Prix. Vettel is the winner of the 2011 Formula 1 season and the
leader in 2012 so far, having defeated Raikkonen for the top spot in Bahrain.
The German was, however, more circumspect in his interview preferring to
stick to generalities rather than personal ambitions or claims. One thing both
Vettel and Raikkonen agreed on was that if a car functions well aerodynamically
in Barcelona, it will work on any circuit.
2012 Spanish Grand Prix Odds at Bet365
Despite Raikkonen's claim, the online betting site Bet365 favours Vettel for
the top spot in the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix by a long way. The odds for the top
five drivers are as follows.
2012 F1 Drivers' Championship Odds at Bet365
Raikkonen will need some more podium finishes this season before the online