Returning ex-champion Kimi Raikkonen was in the thick of the midfield battle last weekend in Australia, eventually scoring some points with seventh place. But the Finn is in a confident mood, and is looking to compete higher up in Sepang this weekend. He’s thinking of the podium!

“The car feels very good. In the race I was stuck in traffic a lot so it didn’t show so much, and who knows what might have happened if we had a better grid slot. There is a lot of speed in the car. As long as qualifying goes well we could be fighting for podiums. There’s much more to come. We’re learning about the car all the time and the last race didn’t really give us a chance to use its full potential. Hopefully Malaysia will be a bit more straightforward,” Kimi said.

“We’ll be trying to improve our performance in Malaysia. We don’t know how the car will behave there but it’s been good everywhere so hopefully it’ll be the same there. You still need a good car [at Sepang] and that looks to be what we have. Hopefully we’ll have a smoother weekend than we did in Australia with no mistakes,” he added.

Kimi’s team mate Romain Grosjean, who started third on the Melbourne grid but crashed out, is similarly pleased with the Lotus E20. “The car was working very well in Australia. There are always small improvements you can make but there’s nothing major I could point to right now. The car is performing very well,” said the Frenchman.

Lotus will be one of three teams with Malaysian links on the grid in Sepang. The others are Tony Fernandes’ Caterham F1 and the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team.