Haug betting on Raikkonen

The championship, both Driver's and Constructors', is still wide open after an exciting season that has thrown up some thrills and spills. McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen is still a contender despite the first corner incident at the German Grand Prix...

The championship, both Driver's and Constructors', is still wide open after an exciting season that has thrown up some thrills and spills. McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen is still a contender despite the first corner incident at the German Grand Prix that took him out, along with Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello and Willimas' Ralf Schumacher.

"We improved our package in every area and I think that the championship remains wide open, even for us," said Norbert Haug, Mercedes motorsport director. "Of course Michael Schumacher remains our reference point. For me, he is still the favourite for the title but I think that we can still beat him."

"Kimi finished seven times on the podium, which is more than what many other drivers achieved. He could have finished two more times on the podium in Spain and Canada without his mistakes during qualifying. At the Nurburgring, he was leading the race before his engine let go. Kimi has proven to be competitive on all types of circuits. That's a necessary quality to be aiming at the world title."

As for the never-ending debate whether the MP4-18 will race this year, Haug remains unforthcoming: "We will decide if we will use it this year after the private testing session in Monza at the beginning of September," he said.

"The MP4/18 has an excellent potential and if we cannot use it this season, it will be a very good base for next year's car. And we have at our disposal a car that has been very criticised last year but that is still able to battle for the championship this year."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Kimi Raikkonen , Norbert Haug
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , McLaren