Kimi Raikkonen believes his chances of winning this year's World title have been boosted by his flying start to the Championship.
Last season, Raikkonen's first back in Formula One, the Finn mounted a minor challenge for the crown, finishing third behind Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso.
On the way, the Lotus driver strung together a run of 17 top-ten results, which included a victory late in the season in Abu Dhabi.
This season, though, Raikkonen kicked off with a victory.
Finishing first in Australia, he scored points in Malaysia before returning to the podium with a runner-up result in China. As such he is second in the Championship, three points behind Vettel.
Asked by ESPNF1 whether his chances of nabbing a second Drivers' title were better this season, he said: "In some ways yes because we started better. I know the team and I kind of know what to expect and what's going to come.
"I think we did pretty OK last year so hopefully we can do a bit better this year but obviously it's a long season and we have some bad races and we might be out. So when we have a bad race we have to try to minimise those and make the most out of it."
The 33-year-old also weighed in on the Pirelli debate after the Italian tyre manufacturer came in for some heavy criticism in China due to the high degradation.
Raikkonen, though, feels the Pirellis haven't really changed the game all that much.
"I don't think racing at the front is any different than it has been in the past," he said. "Obviously the cars are quite different and in some years you had it quite easy to overtake and some not but it depends a lot on your own car.
"If your car is good and you're quick then as a starting point the racing itself is the same. Different tyres sometimes, but F1 hasn't really changed a lot in 10-odd years that I've been here.
"It's more or less the same people, same teams; the rules keep changing but it doesn't affect F1 an awful lot when we race the same way in the same places."
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