Ferrari comes to the 10th round of the season on the back of an encouraging third place for Felipe Massa in Germany. However, this season, every race weekend seems to have its own story, often bearing little relation to what has gone before. In theory, the F60 should be well suited to the characteristics and demands of Budapest’s Hungaroring, as this is the circuit that has the most in common with the tight and twisty streets of Monaco. Raikkonen looks ahead to the upcoming race.
Kimi Raikkonen: "They say that Hungary is somehow similar to Monaco: true, the corners are very slow, but the Hungaroring is definitely more “forgiving” than the track at the Principality, where the tiniest slip will almost certainly make you end up in the barriers. Having said that the next race will definitely be the most similar one to the one at Monaco. This year we gained a place on the podium at Monaco and this is our objective for Budapest: we were able to fight for the pole until the last moment and I think that if we had gained it, the race would have gone in a completely different direction. We’ll retry in Hungary, but it will be difficult. The F60 should adapt pretty well to the track, but we know that all the other teams have improved their cars considerably after the race at Monaco, so there will be fierce competition: we’ll get a better picture of the situation on Friday morning after the first free practice.
"The qualifying’s result is really important at Budapest, because overtaking is even more difficult than usual: if you don’t start from one of the front rows you risk transforming the race into a long hot and difficult afternoon, without any hope for a good result. After two race weekends not really with summery weather at Silverstone and the Nürburgring there should be finally some high temperatures: our car is quite kind to the tyres compared to many others, which means that these conditions should help us more.
"This year the tyre performance has varied a lot over the weekends.
"The crucial point is the temperature and it’s clear that the perfect window to use them is really narrow; but it’s the same for all the teams, as we could see at the last races.
"We’re at the tenth race of the championship, which has been very difficult up to now. We’ve been working hard to close the gap we had since the start between us and the leaders; naturally also all the others have been improving their cars. Furthermore with the fact that we can’t test this year during the championship it’s even more difficult to make up ground. How the season’s second part will go also depends on the decision of how to use the resources, because the work on next year’s car is now already in full swing.
"After Hungary there will be a longer holiday than usual. The first week I’ll dedicate to the Rally in Finland, where I’ll drive a Fiat Grande Punto Abarth. After that I’ll relax a bit together with my family and friends, before starting with the preparations for the race at Valencia on 23 August."