Kimi Raikkonen admits it won't be easy chasing down Sebastian Vettel in this year's title fight as the German is not only consistent but consistently near the front.
After four races, Vettel and Raikkonen are the two at the top of the leaderboard with the Red Bull racer 10 points ahead of the Lotus driver.
But while Raikkonen has managed just one victory and an additional two podium results, Vettel has two victories and one podium to his credit. And in the only grand prix he finished outside the top three, he was fourth.
Raikkonen, though, rightly says it's still early days in the Championship fight and as long as Lotus keep improving, especially in qualifying, they stand a chance.
"For sure it's an okay start and we're in a better position that this time last year, but there's a long season ahead and it's too early to say if we can fight for the Championships right to the end," said the Finn.
"It's going to be hard to catch Sebastian if he keeps taking good results so we need to start taking more points from him, but you never know what can happen.
"We'll keep pushing to improve the car and see where we end up. To catch the leaders, we have to work twice as hard as they are.
"It's no secret that we want more speed from the car in qualifying; it's so tight up there at the front and we really need to be on the first two rows to fight for victories every time.
"It's good to be able to start the European season where we are as this is when you see teams starting to push on with lots of new parts for the cars.
"It's still early days, but to have scored strong points since the start of the year is obviously better than not having them.
"We need to keep scoring points in the same way; even if it's a bad weekend for us, we need to keep finishing as well as we can.
"That's how we will fight to the end of the season."
Looking ahead to next weekend's grand prix in Spain, Raikkonen concedes perfection will be needed to add a third Barcelona triumph to his tally.
"I have won twice in Barcelona and I was on the podium there last year too, so I really look forward to going there again; hopefully to end the weekend with another good result.
"It's a circuit where you have to get everything exactly right to be at the top.
"All the teams have tested many times at this circuit, so to get an advantage there is not very easy. The set-up is crucial as the track changes with the wind and temperature so there's plenty of work for the engineers too."
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