Lotus boss Eric Boullier has defended the recent form of Kimi Raikkonen, with the Finnish driver appearing frustrated at times in his first season back in Formula One.
The former world champion has endured mixed fortunes since joining the Lotus team, with a second placed finish in Bahrain contrasted with difficulties in adjusting to the 2012 Lotus car.
Raikkonen leads his team-mate Romain Grosjean by two points in the drivers' championship, and the young Frenchman's impressive performance in Canada has called into question Raikkonen's ability to still compete in Formula One.
However, as reported by Autosport, Boullier has leapt to his driver's defence, insisting that the team are fully behind the temperamental driver, and that they expect him to shine soon.
“It is all part of the understanding between team and driver,” Boullier said.
"We had two new drivers in the team and each driver has his own driving style and characteristics.
"It is just part of the learning process – and teams like McLaren, Red Bull Racing and Ferrari, they have driver line-ups that they are used to working with.
"This year we had two new drivers – which included one nearly complete rookie. And with Kimi, we just had to take time to adjust. It has just been part of the process to understand his driving style and make adjustments to know how best to work together."
Raikkonen decided to leave Formula One in 2009 after nine years in the sport, switching to rallying in the World Rally Championship. However he made a shock return to F1 ahead of the 2012 season, following months of rumours that the then Lotus-Renault team were trying to broker a deal with him.