Kimi Raikkonen is 20 points behind McLaren's championship leader Lewis Hamilton with six races to go this season and the Finn hopes he can close the gap with tracks coming up that are better suited to Ferrari. Raikkonen was second at the ...
Kimi Raikkonen is 20 points behind McLaren's championship leader Lewis Hamilton with six races to go this season and the Finn hopes he can close the gap with tracks coming up that are better suited to Ferrari. Raikkonen was second at the Hungaroring, where it's so difficult to overtake, and conceded that Hamilton's car was the one he least wanted ahead of him in regard to his title aspirations.
"If there was one driver, who should have not been in front of me, it was Hamilton," he remarked. "The gap between him and me has grown to 20 points. I raced the whole race on second position, behind the British driver. I had a really good race rhythm and a good pace. If I had had a free track, I could have been much stronger. Before the last lap I slowed down a bit to build up some space ahead of me for a hot lap, just to see what time I could have done: we got the confirmation that we could have gone faster!"
"Hamilton is a really good driver and he did not commit one error: I was looking for a chance behind him but he didn't make any mistake, so I didn't have a possibility to pass him. After the qualifying we knew that we had a strong car, but at the first pitstop we tried to guess how much fuel McLaren had put into the car, trying to pass them; but that didn't work out."
F1 is currently in the three week summer break but the next rounds of the championship, the last three in Europe, are at tracks where Raikkonen thinks Ferrari will perhaps have an edge on its rivals. "The championship is not over yet, that's for sure," he said. "The gap to the leader has not changed substantially and we can't give up."
"We have an excellent car and I think that the Hungaroring was the only race track so far, where we could have expected to have a slight disadvantage compared to McLaren. Whenever we have won a race, as in Magny-Cours and at Silverstone, we made up ground. I'm convinced that when we go back onto a similar track, we can be much more competitive."
"At Istanbul, Monza and Spa-Francorchamps, where there are many long straights and fast corners, we should be able to play out the F2007's characteristics. Felipe (Massa) and I have to try to bring home some nice one-two wins. I know that it's difficult to win six races in a row, but we have to try. With a little bit of luck we can catch the leaders."
It is perhaps a bit of a tall order to win for the rest of the season but Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo believes it can be done. "We can win all the remaining races, because we have the capacity to do it," he said at a recent team meeting to discuss the positives and negatives of the season so far. "The team has to believe in it."