Ferrari drivers were not able to maximize the potential of their car on Saturday’s qualifying. Sebastian Vettel qualified fifth, while Kimi Räikkönen only grabbed the fourteenth spot after having been caught out by unlucky circumstances. However, the race brought a new picture as both drivers were very fast and managed their tyres very well.
Kimi Räikkönen showed promising pace all weekend long, but he was unlucky to cross first the finish line on the rapidly drying track of Q2 which meant he was knocked out. The Finn did not give up the fight on the track where he usually enjoys huge support from his Finnish fans. He started the race on softs, then switched to supersofts. He was so comfortable and quick on the softest compound brought to the Hungaroring that he let another set of supersofts put on his car.
”Today my car was really good and behaving well, we had the speed, but obviously this is not the easiest place to overtake.”
“Unfortunately, after yesterday’s qualifying, today we were not in a position that would allow us to get the result we deserved, and this is the most disappointing thing.”
Räikkönen’s speed enabled him to close in on Max Verstappen who started from fourth place. The Finn got close to him a couple of times and once he run into the back of the Red Bull which resulted in a front wing damage for the 2007 world champion.
“Regarding the battle with Max, it’s not for me to decide but I think that his maneuvers are questionable.”
“The first time he started to move on the right and I went left, but he moved back there too, so I had to try and get out of it because I was hitting him hard on the rear and I lost my front wing, which didn’t make it easier to attack again.”
Verstappen made sudden direction changes right in the moments Räikkönen wanted to overtake him.
“Then later, every time I managed to make a move and I was committed to somewhere he decided to turn afterwards, and at that point I had nowhere to go.”
“It’s not my job to determine if he was correct or not, but I have seen people being penalized for much less.”
Räikkönen left the Hungaroring with bitterness as his speed could have open up better possibilities for him.
“Today we did our maximum, I’m disappointed because I couldn’t get past Verstappen and go catch the rest.”
Sebastian Vettel was also left with mixed feelings as he could not use all his speed because of the limited overtaking opportunities.
”I was hoping for more today. I had a good start, maybe too good, because the run into Turn 1 is very long, so I had to get out of the tow a bit too early.”
“It was bit of a shame because I was stuck in fifth position from then onwards. Then I knew everything would have to go through strategy and pitstops and so we overcut Verstappen.”
Vettel closed in on Ricciardo, but he could not find his way past to get onto the rostrum.
“We were much stronger at the end of the race, maybe a couple of tenths, but unfortunately not quick enough to pass. If I had been able to, I would have done more, but I tried everything until the end, we were on a good strategy, we had more pace at the end but as I said this is one of the most difficult tracks for overtaking.”
The German is sure the gap to Mercedes is not that huge as the final result showed.
“With a better position yesterday, I think we could have finished P3 without any problem. We are not happy to finish fourth, because we have to win, we need to improve here and there, but I think the difference with Mercedes is not that big as it looks.”
Vettel pinpointed Ferraris main issue. He thinks that Mercedes can manage the tyres better.
“They seem to be better managing their tires and that makes for a big gap over a number of laps,” added the quadruple world champion.