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Iceman Raikkonen silences doubters

Kimi Raikkonen's last grand prix win prior to Sunday's Abu Dhabi triumph was in Belgium in 2009.

Story highlights

  • Kimi Raikkonen plays down his win at Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
  • The win was the Finn's first since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix
  • Raikkonen won the world championship with Ferrari in 2007
  • The 33-year-old is third in the 2012 drivers' standings with 198 points

Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen stormed to a red-hot Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victory on Sunday, but the ice-cool Finn refused to get carried away following his first Formula One win in over three years.

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel and archrival Fernando Alonso were both vying for points in the race for the drivers' title, but it was the 2007 world champion Raikkonen who finally delivered the grand prix win his 2012 form had threatened.

The former Ferrari driver, who left the sport in 2009 and spent time in NASCAR and rally before returning to F1 with Lotus at the start of this season, admitted it was satisfying to prove he could still cut it at the front of the grid.

"To be honest it's just another win on the list for me," the 33-year-old told the sport's official website following the 19th win of his career and his first since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.

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Raikkonen has quickly readjusted to life in the cockpit. He sits third in the drivers' championship behind Red Bull's Vettel and Alonso of Ferrari having registered six podium finishes prior to his triumph at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Raikkonen made his F1 debut in 2001 and is a veteran of 154 races starts. Despite his wealth of experience, the one-time McLaren driver admitted it was good to silence those who questioned whether his best days were behind him.

"It's great of course, because it's been a few years, but the wins prior to this one were very similar," he continued. "We didn't have the best car, but we fought and still won.

"It's great to win now, so people will stop asking me if I can win or not, and at least it makes it a bit clearer!"

However Raikkonen knows a poor performance at the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix on November 17 will render his exploits in Abu Dhabi meaningless in the eyes of his critics.

"I never cared really what people think," he said. "If I don't finish the next race, then they'll think that I'm as bad as that race.

"I'll just do my thing, and if I'm happy with what I'm doing and it's the best it can be for the team, then that's that. So I really don't care if people are thinking differently of me now, than what they did three hours before the race."