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Hakkinen backs Kimi to recover

Mika Häkkinen has backed Kimi Räikkönen to recover from his troubled first half of the 2014 season.

Since returning to Ferrari, Räikkönen has been overshadowed by team-mate Fernando Alonso; while Alonso holds fourth after the first 11 races with two podiums to his name, Räikkönen sits 12th with a best finish of sixth.

But Häkkinen says he has seen enough progress from Räikkönen, who has struggled to find a comfortable balance with the F14 T chassis, to suggest that his fellow Finn will soon get on terms with Alonso.

“It’s just a matter of time. Kimi is just as quick as Alonso when he manages to get his car set up properly,” said Häkkinen, a two-time World Champion, during his post-Hungarian Grand Prix column for Hermes.

Räikkönen’s aforementioned sixth place came directly before the summer break in Budapest, but he could have achieved more had it not been for a backfiring tyre gamble that saw him eliminated from the opening phase.

Häkkinen admitted to shock over the outcome, questioning Ferrari’s decision-making on the pit wall.

“That was an obvious mistake, one that shouldn’t be made by a team at the level of Ferrari,” he explained.

“Maybe their thoughts were already on the four week break. I struggle to believe that such a serious error was made under [Engineering Director] Pat Fry. I know Fry very well; he was an engineer at McLaren when I was there. The alarm bells should have gone off for a person like him. One should never take anything for granted.”

[ Source: gpupdate.net ]
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Video: What makes driving exciting for Kimi

Shell Motorsport released this rather relaxed video of Kimi Raikkonen giving his view on what driving means to him…

HUNGARY GP – RACE RESULTS

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Report – Scuderia Ferrari recorded its best result of the season today. Fernando Alonso finished second, having led for a while until three laps from the end, while Kimi Raikkonen staged a great charge up the order to go from 16th on the grid to sixth at the flag.
It was a spectacular race, in part because it started on a wet track with everyone running Intermediate tyres. After a few laps, the Safety Car was required when Marcus Ericsson crashed heavily in the Caterham. The SC came out after the top four, including Fernando, had passed the pits, which jumbled the order, promoting Ricciardo to the lead.

The Safety Car came out again when Sergio Perez crashed the Force India on the pit straight, with Ricciardo changing tyres and mixing up the strategies. When the race was on again, Alonso therefore found himself leading, although Ricciardo, on a different strategy, retook the position, handing it back to the Spaniard with 15 laps remaining. Raikkonen meanwhile had his best race of the year, making the most of the run of pit stops to get as high up as third at one point.

Final Results:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car                     Time/Gap
 1.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault         1h53m05.058s
 2.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari                       +5.225s
 3.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes                      +5.857s
 4.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes                      +6.361s
 5.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes            +29.841s
 6.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari                      +31.491s
 7.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault             +40.964s
 8.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes            +41.344s
 9.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault           +58.527s
10.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes           +1m07.280s
11.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari             +1m08.169s
12.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes           +1m18.465s
13.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault              +1m24.024s
14.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault             -1 lap
15.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari               -1 lap
16.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari               -1 lap
                                                             
Retirements:                                          
                                                             
     Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari                33 laps
     Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault              25 laps
     Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes          23 laps
     Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes          15 laps
     Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault                 11 laps
     Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault               8 laps
Drivers' championship:
 1.  Nico Rosberg       202
 2.  Lewis Hamilton     191
 3.  Daniel Ricciardo   131
 4.  Fernando Alonso    115
 5.  Valtteri Bottas    95
 6.  Sebastian Vettel   88
 7.  Nico Hulkenberg    69
 8.  Jenson Button      60
 9.  Felipe Massa       40
10.  Kevin Magnussen    37
11.  Sergio Perez       29
12.  Kimi Raikkonen     27
13.  Jean-Eric Vergne   11
14.  Romain Grosjean    8
15.  Daniil Kvyat       6
16.  Jules Bianchi      2
17.  Adrian Sutil       0
18.  Marcus Ericsson    0
19.  Pastor Maldonado   0
20.  Esteban Gutierrez  0
21.  Max Chilton        0
22.  Kamui Kobayashi    0

Constructors' championship:
 1.  Mercedes              393
 2.  Red Bull-Renault      219
 3.  Ferrari               142
 4.  Williams-Mercedes     135
 5.  Force India-Mercedes  98
 6.  McLaren-Mercedes      97
 7.  Toro Rosso-Renault    17
 8.  Lotus-Renault         8
 9.  Marussia-Ferrari      2
10.  Sauber-Ferrari        0
11.  Caterham-Renault      0

QUOTES

Raikkonen not expecting big improvement over break“Yeah, after yesterday’s mistakes, this kind of place it is hard to place and we were lacking straight-line speed, I had difficulties passing the Sauber in the middle of the race with the DRS so obviously it was a bit tricky but we managed to gain place. We were faster than Williams but I just couldn’t get past. I hope that the second part of the season can be much better than the first one, but obviously one little bit better day doesn’t change an awful lot. It doesn’t take away the mistakes and the things we have to really improve, make it work as a team much better. That doesn’t change from this moment to this afternoon; there are an awful lot of things left to be done to make sure we can be where we should be. I believe in the team, that we can put ourselves where we should be. There are some signs, today we had good speed but obviously starting where we started, it was hard to make any better place. I don’t think there is going to be a big difference in three or four weeks, but for sure next year. So we try to work more improving things and improve in the second half, make sure things are how we want and should be.”

Kimi: We deserved more“Sixth doesn’t really give me anything. I think we deserved a bit more, but not after yesterday. I’m here to try and win races, OK it’s some good points but it’s nowhere near where we want. The car has been feeling pretty OK all weekend but it was a hard race to make any better result from where we started. It was more fun, for sure. The car was also feeling a bit better so it makes life a bit easier and means you can enjoy it more. It was a fun race. Difficult, but fun. However the big picture does not change from one result. It’s welcome to get some points and a bit better result but it doesn’t change the fact that we could have scored much better points in some of our races, but always something happens. I’m happy for it but its disappointing overall how things went and we have to make sure we don’t make those things [happen again]. There were some signs of improvements and the car is a lot better than at the start of the year but that’s normal. After yesterday’s mistakes, problems, at this kind of place it is still hard to pass and we are lacking straight-line speed a bit. I had difficulties getting past a Sauber at the start of the race even with DRS. It was a bit tricky but we managed to gain places. It’s hard, we were faster than the Williams but we couldn’t get past it and following it for so many laps takes a lot out of the tyres. I had a few times where I got close but it was impossible.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “Today’s race was difficult, but much more fun than the others, as I had a good feeling with the car, the pace was good and I felt I could push. After the way qualifying went yesterday, sixth was the most we could hope for. At the start, I got away well but then I lost vital time behind a Sauber and when I caught Massa’s Williams, I couldn’t get past: here in general, overtaking is not easy and we lack speed down the straights. Sure, this is a good team result, but we must not get too excited, because even if there are signs of improvement, we still have much work to do in a lot of areas to get to where we want to be. We’ve had a very complicated start to the season, but I hope the second part of the championship will go better. I have great faith in the team and I feel we are going in the right direction. Even if it’s going to take some time, I’m sure the results will come.”

Pat Fry: “After mixed fortunes in qualifying yesterday, today the team showed it could react extremely well and keep a cool head when faced with the variable situations that arose during the race. It’s never easy in cases like this, with rain at the start, the Safety Car, having to avoid traffic and especially with having to keep faster cars behind us, but the team performed very competently. The F14 T demonstrated the good race pace it had already shown on Friday and that has helped us re-take third place in the Constructors’ classification. After the summer break, we come to two races that will be difficult for us, on two tracks where it will be important to make the most of any opportunity, just as we did today. On behalf of the team, I wish to congratulate Fernando and Kimi. We had promised them redemption and we were true to our word. We know that there is still a long way to go, but we will spare nothing in our efforts, continuing to work hard to improve, day by day.”

VIDEO

HUNGARY GP – QUALIFYING RESULTS

Report – When the lights go out at 2pm tomorrow, Fernando Alonso will start from fifth on the grid, while Kimi could do no better than 17th, after taking a strategic gamble that didn’t pay off.

The sky looked threatening at the start of Q1, with the forecast claiming a 30% chance of rain. There was drama right away, as Pastor Maldonado stopped his Lotus at the side of the track and Lewis Hamilton had to park his Mercedes at the entrance to pit lane with a fire at the rear, not even having set a time.

Midway through Q1, Fernando was comfortably in a Q2 position, with Kimi 14th. The team then decided to keep the Finn in the garage, confident that the Caterhams and Marussias would not manage to beat his 1.26.792, which would have seen Kimi no lower than 16th. However, Jules Bianchi put in a great lap which meant that, by just a handful of hundredths, Raikkonen failed to make the cut to Q2. Now, the Finn has nothing to lose and will be attacking all the way in tomorrow’s race.

Final Times:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car              Time       Gap
 1.  Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m22.715s
 2.  Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m23.201s  +0.486s
 3.  Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m23.354s  +0.639s
 4.  Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m23.391s  +0.676s
 5.  Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m23.909s  +1.194s
 6.  Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m24.223s  +1.508s
 7.  Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m24.294s  +1.579s
 8.  Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m24.720s  +2.005s
 9.  Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m24.775s  +2.060s
10.  Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes
Q3 cut-off time:                       1m24.647s
11.  Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m24.706s  +1.396s**
12.  Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m25.136s  +1.826s
13.  Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m25.211s  +1.901s
14.  Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m25.260s  +1.950s
15.  Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault         1m25.337s  +2.027s
16.  Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m27.419s  +4.109s
Q2 cut-off time:                       1m26.728s
17.  Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m26.792s  +1.851s***
18.  Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault      1m27.139s  +2.198s
19.  Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m27.819s  +2.878s
20.  Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault      1m28.643s  +3.702s
21.  Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes
22.  Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault

QUOTES

Raikkonen questioned Ferrari Q1 strategy – “The plan was to go out but the team said we are fine, I questioned it a few times to be 100% sure. The end result is what we can see. Yesterday afternoon [and] this morning it was a bit difficult with the hard to get grip, the soft [has] been quicker all weekend.”

“I don’t really see the point in shouting around. I’ve done mistakes in the past and will make more in the future.” (via autosport.com)

 

When asked if he could have over-ruled Ferrari’s decision due to his objections, Raikkonen replied: “You can, but I trust in the team, believe in the people. The plan was to go out, but the team said ‘no, you are fine, you do not need to go out’. I questioned it a few times, but they said no need and we can see the end result.

“I cannot always go against advice. We are here as a team, we make decision as a team, and today the outcome was this. As a team in Formula One, as Ferrari, we should not be doing these kind of things. None of us are in our first year. It’s not good for me or the team.”

Despite the error in judgement Raikkonen says he will not be labouring over Ferrari’s decision for too long.

“A mistake has been made. It’s already been a difficult year, so I don’t see the point to shout. The mistake is done. I’ve made mistakes in the past, I will make them in the future. People make mistakes, but there are things we have to change to improve. These are not easy times.”

Raikkonen insists qualifying does not change anything about his future.

“I have a contract, I fully believe in Ferrari, I’ve enjoyed a lot of wins and success with them. It’s been a difficult year, which is life. It’s not fun when you have hard times, it’s happened before and that’s how it goes.” (via espn.co.uk)

“As a team in Formula One, as Ferrari, we should not be doing these kind of things. None of us are in our first year. Obviously we have to improve, to do things differently because we can see there are weaknesses in the system. I have not suddenly over the winter lost a few seconds laptime. So it’s the case of putting things in the right places for me.” (via motorsport.com)

Kimi Raikkonen: “I am very disappointed with the outcome of qualifying, especially because this weekend I was going well and had a good feeling from the car. After the first run on the Medium tyres the team told me that my time should be good enough to get me through to the next part and so we decided to take a risk and not go out for a second run on the softer compound. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay off and I couldn’t get past Q1.

It’s going to be difficult, because there’s not much chance of overtaking here at the Hungaroring. We definitely made a mistake, but now I only want to look ahead. Tomorrow, even if it will be tough, we will do our best to try and move up the order.”

Pat Fry: “Mixed fortunes for our team in today’s qualifying, with our drivers ending up no less than twelve places apart. In the first part, the fact that Maldonado and Hamilton were out led us to keep both cars in the garage, banking on the times set with the Medium tyres. With Fernando this worked, but unfortunately, with Kimi we were caught out by the evolution of the track. It’s very disappointing not to have got through with him because he’s been going better this weekend. Clearly tomorrow he will be on the attack: on this track, it’s not easy to move up the order because of the traffic, but our race pace is good and we will do all we can to turn things around. In the second part of qualifying, the track continued to improve and Fernando got into Q3 easily enough.

In the end, when the rain came, we decided to go out immediately, but then it was impossible to finish the lap. The hot track dried out very quickly but, concerned it might rain again, we decided to go out on track earlier than planned and Fernando ended up fifth. Rain is forecast for tomorrow which means it is even harder to make predictions, but whatever the weather we must try and get Kimi back up into the points and to get a good haul with Fernando.”