Kimi Raikkonen’s last team boss says he is “surprised” the Finn is struggling so much at the wheel of his new F1 car.

Kimi_Raikkonen-Chinese_GP-2014-R01The 2007 world champion, who had returned to the sport with the Enstone team after a rallying sabbatical, switched to Ferrari for 2014 following a Lotus pay dispute. But while Raikkonen was highly competitive at the wheel of his black and gold car, the 34-year-old has struggled notably for pace now that he is back in red.

Asked if Raikkonen’s 2014 struggle has surprised him, Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez admitted: “Yes, definitely. “With us he was a strong rider, so the gap is a bit surprising,” he told Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport. “But I also know how good Fernando (Alonso) is — just imagine if he had had a Red Bull to himself for the past few years. “But we also know how good Kimi is,” Lopez continued. “It is a new team for him, and with Kimi a lot depends on what is happening around him. “With us he was always fully comfortable, even though of course I cannot exactly know why things are not going right for him.”