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.”