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MOTORSPORT: Bullish Raikkonen is looking to cash in
11:57am Wednesday 30th January 2013 in Sport
Kimi Raikkonen is hopeful McLaren will be severely weakened by Lewis Hamilton's departure as Lotus target a top-three finish in this year’s Formula 1 world championship.
Hamilton's decision to quit McLaren and join Mercedes continues to be a main talking point four months on.
For Lotus, an impressive fourth in the constructors’ title race last year, just 75 points behind third-placed McLaren, Hamilton’s exit could see them push the top two in Red Bull and Ferrari.
Lotus F1 chairman Gerard Lopez said on Tuesday, upon the unveiling of his team’s new car: “Our expectations are to hopefully do better than we did last year, which is quite a lofty expectation. But it’s what we are shooting for.”
Whether Hamilton’s replacement in Sergio Perez can amass the number of points as the Briton regularly achieved is open to debate.
Asked whether McLaren are now less formidable without Hamilton, 2007 world champion Raikkonen said: “Hopefully, yes. We will wait and see in testing, and then go from there. It will be interesting to see what happens.”