Kimi Raikkonen lamented the fact that he gave himself extra work by qualifying further down the order than he would have liked, nevertheless on race day he made amends as he drove yet another impressive race to finish second in the Hungarian Grand Prix at Hungaroring. The Iceman spoke afterwards about his hot afternoon in Budapest.
Incredible support here for you as always, Kimi. P2 on the podium, you really had to work hard for that today.
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, obviously I keep making my life difficult on Saturdays so then we pay a price but I had a good car and we managed to do two stops so that was the only way really to jump people. In the end it was a bit tight with Seb but in the end it paid off for us and we gained some points in the championship. So that’s good.
You made the last set of tyres last 33 laps which is quite spectacular today in these conditions. Surely you thought he was going to have a great chance to pass you towards the end but you just seemed to park your car in the middle of the track and make it so difficult.
KR: Yeah, I mean I knew it was going to be a bit tight but I felt that the tyres were good still in the last ten laps. So maybe last two laps they drop off quite badly but I didn’t really have any doubts that I couldn’t keep him behind. I had good speed through the last sector so I knew that in the first corner they will not have a chance. Obviously you take a chance always when you make so many laps with a set of tyres – but like I said, the team worked well, everything worked well for us and unfortunately yesterday wasn’t an easy day so otherwise we could probably have fight for a win. But anyhow, we are here.
Satisfied you take a few points off the World championship leader?
KR: Yeah, it’s better than nothing.
That was a robust defence at the end of the race. I’m not certain if it was a good job interview for joining Red Bull Racing for next year but tell us about it.
KR: Obviously I don’t have anything for next year so I mean it does matter what happens on a race circuit for that matter. I knew that my tyres [were] pretty OK and I was good through the last sector so I was pretty sure there was no chance to try to overtake me into the first corner but then obviously turn two was a bit more tricky for me all race. He got a good run, Sebastian once before and then second time and I defended. Maybe I’m over a bit on the right and it’s a bit tight but then I kept him behind and that was the only time he had a good run on me. In there it is very difficult to overtake because it is so narrow on top of the hill. After that I had no issues. That was the only part of the circuit that I really had some problems with the tyres. But it was good work for the team, the car was working well but unfortunately I keep making Saturdays…after Saturdays making the race a bit difficult for myself. Hopefully we can fix that a little bit and be a bit more on the front at the beginning of the race.
How did the high temperatures today affect you, your performance?
KR: Obviously I was bit out of tyres at the end because we did a run with a set of tyres but apart from that it was OK. It was a bit hot but as normal as any hot race. No problem.
Now you’ve got some feeling with the new tyres, do you think you have the right package to win in Spa?
KR: I don’t know. It’s a different circuit. I have no idea. Last year we were not very strong there. I think we know the reasons and for sure our car is better this year, but is it good enough for fighting for a win? We will see in Spa in one month.
You are now second in the championship. What does this mean now, at this time, for you and for the next four weeks? Will you go to Enstone and help to develop the car or just have fun and holiday?
KR: I don’t design the car so there’s not much use for me there. Everybody has to be off work in a week’s time so there’s nothing happening at any of the factories, at least, that’s how it should be. I will do something and see what happens at the next race in four weeks.
Last year you finished second, this year you finished second as well. Are you satisfied with the progress Lotus is making in terms of car development?
KR: Obviously we always hope for more, myself and the team hopes for more. I think we’ve made progress, for sure. Now we have tyres that are a little bit different and I wasn’t so happy with how things ran on Friday and yesterday – more happy in qualifying than the whole weekend before that but still not ideal and in the race we usually run better than in qualifying. I was happy with the car in the race but obviously when you start from such a bad starting place it’s difficult to make big progress on this kind of circuit but I managed to do two stops and we’re still pretty competitive so we’re happy how we’ve done but we’re here to try to win races and if we keep finishing second and third like we’ve done many times this year, it’s probably not enough for the championship but the best thing today when we finished second we gained a few points on Sebastian, so it’s better than nothing but with a win it would have been a much bigger difference.
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