Hungarian Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen says that, despite claiming a double podium finish, Ferrari were aiming for more from Sunday’s race at the Hungaroring.
Raikkonen claimed P3 in the race on Sunday. Having started from that position on the grid, he lost a position to teammate Sebastian Vettel going through Turn 2 as Raikkonen was blocked by Valtteri Bottas. Now running P4, Raikkonen made an early stop for the Soft tyre on Lap 14 in an attempt to force Mercedes to respond to the undercut. However, a slow stop meant that when Bottas pitted a lap later, he was comfortably ahead of his compatriot’s Ferrari.
From there, Raikkonen was one of the quickest men on track. With the Ferrari happy on the Soft tyres, a flurry of fastest laps from Kimi saw him reel Bottas back in before pitting for a second time on Lap 38. This time, Mercedes didn’t respond, instead choosing to keep Bottas out as an effective block against Sebastian Vettel. With Bottas & Vettel not particularly fast, Raikkonen caught back up again and was in prime position to pounce when the two cars ahead made contact. Clearing Bottas, Raikkonen looked in two minds about whether to attack Vettel but elected to stay behind his teammate. They finished P2 & P3, almost twenty seconds behind race winner Lewis Hamilton.
“The start was ok, I got a tow and I was deciding which side I should go; but then Bottas moved the same side, trying to block me, so I braked earlier and lost the position to Sebastian. After that it was all about trying to get some free air and use the speed I had, giving myself a hard time in trying to to put pressure on the others and not being able to save the tires. The race went by pretty quick, we were pushing through the whole race with decent tires all the time because of the two-strategy stops we had.”
Raikkonen had to complete the whole race without any drink available to him, after Ferrari forgot to connect up his water bottle. Despite the heat, Raikkonen didn’t seem to struggle too much as a result: “The fact of not having my drink bottle available was obviously not ideal, but not so much of an issue either.”
With Ferrari’s weekend ultimately decided in the fully wet Qualifying session on Saturday, Raikkonen says that things need to improve for the second half of the championship as Ferrari aim to close down the ten point lead Mercedes enjoy in the title chase: “Today we had the speed, but we know that this is a tricky circuit for overtaking. The race was decided yesterday in qualifying, but in the end we managed to get back one place each. Second and third is the maximum we could hope for today; it’s quite an ok result, but it’s not what we want.”
“On the second half of the season we’ll try to turn it around and do a bit better. I know it’s still a long way to go, anything can happen and things can change quickly. We keep pushing, trying to improve on the small details and be consistent, and I’m sure we can get higher podium positions.”