MX23RW : Wednesday, April 21 01:59:26| >> :600:127069219:127069219:

Lopez: 'No question of Raikonnen's team spirit'

Lotus F1 owner Gerard Lopez rubbishes Kimi Raikonnen's reputation of being difficult to work with.

Lotus F1 owner Gerard Lopez has praised Kimi Raikonnen's attitude as the team gears up for the upcoming Formula 1 season.

Eyebrows were raised when it was announced that the Finn was to return to F1 after spending two seasons racing in the World Rally Championship.

The 2007 world champion has been maligned in the past for a lack of commitment and team spirit off the track.

However, Lopez has now said that he has found Raikonnen's public image to be misleading.

"For most people it's probably one of the big mysteries, because you hear the hearsay and so forth, but we feel very good with him and he clearly feels at home," Lopez told Autosport.

"He smiles a lot when he's with us! But most importantly that says he feels more like part of the family.

"I think Kimi has a public image that honestly from what we've seen does not translate into how he really is. He's a very hard worker, very good at providing feedback, and has a good team spirit."

The 32-year-old has signed a two-year contract with Lotus.

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