Raikkonen: "As many points as we can" Kimi Raikkonen was in the FIA Press Conference this afternoon and the first question he faced did not have anything to do with this weekend, but was aimed at a completely different event he will tackle in...
Raikkonen: "As many points as we can"
Kimi Raikkonen was in the FIA Press Conference this afternoon and the first question he faced did not have anything to do with this weekend, but was aimed at a completely different event he will tackle in the summer break, namely the world championship Rally of Finland, better known as "The Thousand Lakes." "I think it will be a completely different thing to what I have done before, " began the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver. "I have done a few rallies but it is like club races compared to the Finland Rally. I will just go there and have fun and hopefully we are going to make it to the end and that would be nice."
Back to his "day job" and Kimi explained what was different on the F60 for this weekend. "My car has some new stuff. A new front wing from what we had in the last race and we also have some new floor parts and a rear wing. Hopefully it will help us. This circuit is more like Monaco and the car seemed to be working pretty well there, so hopefully we can have a bit better weekend than the last one." As to the Hungaroring itself, the Finn said he enjoyed the challenge. "It is quite a nice circuit. For driving it is quite a good challenge. It is not easy to get the car right here but for the racing it can easily get a bit boring. It is a bit more like Monaco though here it is slightly easier to overtake but you need to be quite a bit faster than the guy in front of you to get past him. We will see how it goes but it is a nice place to come." After making the most of KERS at the start of the last race, the Ferrari man thinks it will also come in useful here. "If you get a good run out of the last corner, then definitely the KERS will help you. On the start it will help you as it is quite a long straight before the first corner. Sure we will find out some advantage with the KERS and anyhow with that we always seem to be faster, so for us it is only a good thing."
As for ambitions for the rest of this tough season, Kimi was realistic about the team/'s potential. "I think the team target is to try to finish in third place in the championship. I think that's what we're aiming for. For myself, I will try to win as many points as I can, as many good results as we can and that's all we can try to do."
Raikkonen: "Will Budapest be like Monaco? Let's hope so"
They say that Hungary is somehow similar to Monaco: true, the corners are very slow, but the Hungaroring is definitely more "forgiving" than the track at the Principality, where the tiniest slip will almost certainly make you end up in the barriers. Having said that the next race will definitely be the most similar one to the one at Monaco. This year we gained a place on the podium at Monaco and this is our objective for Budapest: we were able to fight for the pole until the last moment and I think that if we had gained it, the race would have gone in a completely different direction. We'll retry in Hungary, but it will be difficult. The F60 should adapt pretty well to the track, but we know that all the other teams have improved their cars considerably after the race at Monaco, so there will be fierce competition: we'll get a better picture of the situation on Friday morning after the first free practice.
The qualifying's result is really important at Budapest, because overtaking is even more difficult than usual: if you don't start from one of the front rows you risk transforming the race into a long hot and difficult afternoon, without any hope for a good result. After two race weekends not really with summery weather at Silverstone and the Nurburgring there should be finally some high temperatures: our car is quite kind to the tyres compared to many others, which means that these conditions should help us more.
This year the tyre performance has varied a lot over the weekends.
The crucial point is the temperature and it's clear that the perfect window to use them is really narrow; but it's the same for all the teams, as we could see at the last races.
We're at the tenth race of the championship, which has been very difficult up to now. We've been working hard to close the gap we had since the start between us and the leaders; naturally also all the others have been improving their cars. Furthermore with the fact that we can't test this year during the championship it's even more difficult to make up ground. How the season's second part will go also depends on the decision of how to use the resources, because the work on next year's car is now already in full swing.
After Hungary there will be a longer holiday than usual. The first week I'll dedicate to the Rally in Finland, where I'll drive a Fiat Grande Punto Abarth. After that I'll relax a bit together with my family and friends, before starting with the preparations for the race at Valencia on 23 August.