Lopez: With us Kimi was a strong driver, so the gap at Ferrari is a bit surprising

Gerard Lopez with Kimi Raikkonen during their time together at Lotus

Gerard Lopez with Kimi Raikkonen during their time together at Lotus

Kimi Raikkonen’s former┬áteam boss says that he is surprised by the Finn’s struggles at the wheel of the new Ferrari F14T.

The 2007 world champion, who had returned to the sport with Lotus team after a rallying sabbatical, switched to Ferrari for 2014 following a pay dispute after two years with the Enstone team.

But while Raikkonen was highly competitive at the wheel of his black and gold car, the 34-year-old has struggled notably for pace now that he is once again in red.

Asked if Raikkonen’s 2014 struggle has surprised him, Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez admitted: “Yes, definitely.

Kimi Raikkonen has struggled at the wrong end of the field this year

Kimi Raikkonen has struggled at the wrong end of the field this year

“With us he was a strong driver, so the gap is a bit surprising,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.

“But I also know how good Fernando [Alonso] is – just imagine if he had had a Red Bull to himself for the past few years.

“But we also know how good Kimi is,” Lopez continued. “It is a new team for him, and with Kimi a lot depends on what is happening around him.

“With us he was always fully comfortable, even though of course I cannot exactly know why things are not going right for him.” (GMM)

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