Kimi Raikkonen had his usual meeting with the media this afternoon, in the hot conditions that are likely to typify this Hungarian weekend. As to how the Scuderia Ferrari man expects to perform at the Hungaroring, it’s the usual Thursday guessing game. “Hopefully, we’ll get that good feeling and get the car where we want and just have a clean weekend without any issues in any practices and can try things where we want,” he began. “Even though it’s twisty and people say you can’t overtake here, we’ve seen in the past that it can change a lot in the race after qualifying so we’ll see how it goes.”
On the much discussed topic that the Finn has found it hard to get a good feeling form his F14 T, the Ferrari man felt progress was being made. “There’s sometimes a good feeling and unfortunately it doesn’t last long, but last weekend was a better feeling again, we changed something in the car so hopefully that will put us in the right direction and we can get to where we should be.”
Kimi has spent a lot of time in Maranello and what he saw in the factory has put him in a positive frame of mind when it comes to next year. “I have 100% belief in the people in the factory and I know that we have the tools and the people to do the job we’re supposed to do. I’m sure we can be where we should be, hopefully already next year. With Marco (Mattiacci,) he didn’t have much knowledge of F1 when he came in but he has a smart head. I think he’s doing good work, making good decisions, but it takes time to get involved and get people’s trust but I think he’s the guy we need.”
“I don’t think it’s the regulations,” Raikkonen said. “In my view I don’t think it is that much different to the way you drive than last year’s car. Obviously it’s a different team, different car design and certain things are slightly different to how it was in the past. The biggest difference is that it’s not to my liking, and unfortunately these are not easy things to change.
“I’m sure we can turn it around and sometimes there is a good feeling but it doesn’t last long. Last weekend was a better feeling again and we changed something and got something new in the car so hopefully that will start putting us in the right direction and we will get to where we should be.”
“Overall it was a bit better and a lot more to my liking over the weekend. But I did qualifying and we were a bit out of position compared to where I think we should have been. Then you end up between the cars fighting and we got damaged twice on the front wing and I think that compromised our race a lot.
“Probably we should have done different things on the tactics, but that’s how it went. There were some good times and hopefully that’s happening more and we can keep it all the time.”
And Raikkonen believes Hungary could be a better circuit for Ferrari than recent tracks.
“It’s a different circuit more close to Monaco than the other place. We were having quite a good race there but obviously we have to see if we get that good feeling and get the car where we want and have that good feeling without any issues in practice to try things however we want.
“We will have to see tomorrow, but usually it is a good race and even this twisty track where people say you can’t overtake, we have seen in the past that it can change a lot in the race after qualifying. We’ll see how it goes.”
While Alonso has scored points at every single race, Raikkonen has struggled, recording a best finish of seventh. Nevertheless, the Spaniard is unconcerned about his teammate.
“I don’t really have an opinion on that,” he said when asked about Raikkonen’s struggles. “Obviously, the car is not great, we lack some downforce, some traction. We had some difficulties under braking in the first half of the races, brake-by-wire and all the systems that are new this year. Probably he was not feeling confident with the car, or he was not totally happy with the balance.
“At the moment, we are not super happy with the performance, either him or me, and we try to keep improving and score more points, especially with the constructors’ championship. We’re going backwards a little bit and we need to put both cars in the points as many times as possible.”
Alonso confirmed that he is constantly sharing feedback and information with Raikkonen, despite the Finn having a reputation for a less co-operative approach from his time at Lotus.
“Definitely we work a lot together,” Alonso confirmed. “The meetings are quite long this year, because we have quite a lot of things to sort out after the races, and we’ve been constantly making our suggestions and our comments on what we see on the track, and try to help the engineers to transfer that to Maranello and translate those comments into ideas to help the car.
“It’s not a big change from the work that I have done with Felipe [Massa]; it’s a working relationship trying to help the team all the time.”