Horner: 'Raikkonen a key factor in title race'

Wednesday 01st August 2012, 14:19 by Ryan Wood 

Lotus F1 Team, LAT Photographic

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner is the latest to admit that Lotus, particularly Kimi Raikkonen, could pose a major threat in the drivers' championship.

Horner's comments come days after Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali conceded that Lotus's race pace is worrying.

"I think that Lotus did not collect the points that they were able to collect because they always had a very good car since the beginning of the season," said the Italian.

He added: "So I think they could have scored more points … they will be a very good team in the second half of the season."

Horner says it's too early to rule Raikkonen out considering he's finished on the podium in three of the last four races to score more points than anyone but Fernando Alonso.

"They [Lotus] are a factor and their car has been quick all year," said Horner. "They've got two good drivers and Kimi for sure is a factor in the drivers' championship, I think he's only one point behind Lewis [Hamilton].

"As I said from race two, it would be foolish to underestimate any of our rivals at the moment. There's still a long way to go."

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