|Distance||306,630 km / 190,572 miles|
Maurizio Arrivabene: ”Today we saw a great reaction from the whole team. Once again, we were able to show that we never give up. Our drivers did an outstanding race really giving their best and, if Seb could have benefited from a better starting position, the final result would surely have been different. As for Kimi, he showed that he fully deserved his contract to be extended into next year. Having said that, when you don’t reach the podium you can’t be satisfied, and indeed we aren’t: but this does not mean that we are not ready to take the fight to the end.”
Kimi Raikkonen: ”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. 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. 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. Today we did our maximum, I’m disappointed because I couldn’t get past Verstappen and go catch the rest.”
Sebastian Vettel: ”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. 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. 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. They seem to be better managing their tires and that makes for a big gap over a number of laps.”
Sebastian so close to the podium. Raikkonen sixth
Mogyorod, 24 July – Sebastian Vettel finished today’s Hungarian Grand Prix in fourth place. The German crossed the line at the Hungaroring a mere 6 tenths of a second behind Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull. Kimi Raikkonen had to fight hard all afternoon, having started from the seventh row of the grid. The Finn went on to finish sixth, helped by an excellent race strategy. The top step of the podium belonged to Lewis Hamilton, first for Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen: ”I’m disappointed by the result of this qualifying, it’s really a shame because our car has been working well all weekend and even in wet conditions the handling was very good. For sure we are far from where we should be. At the end of Q2 I went out for my last attempt and I did a decent lap, at least for that moment, but the conditions were improving every lap, the track was getting faster and unfortunately we did not make it through Q3. Whatever the reason, when the conditions are like today it’s not easy. We tried to do the right things, unfortunately we will pay a price tomorrow, it will be difficult to overtake starting from the back but we won’t give up. We’ll do our best, the speed is there and I’m sure we can make something out.”
Sebastian Vettel: ”I am not happy with P5, because it could have been better. It was quite a mess at the beginning to get through, then at the end I think we had a good performance in the car. We improved for this afternoon, but unfortunately the result doesn’t show it. The pace was there, but we were not able to get the lap. It’s a shame because in the end it was very good, I think it was already half a second down, then there was a yellow flag which caught us out, but we kept going. Then there was a bit of traffic, sometimes it is just like that. I think we have the pace to compete for the podium tomorrow, hopefully we’ll have a good start then we’ll go from there. It’s a long race, anything can happen here. Other than that, I think that in the race pace usually we are quicker. Usually all the people decide to do the fastest strategy possible, but there’s always something you can do. If the occasion comes up to do something smart I know we have the people on board to do it, so I trust them.”
Vettel to start from row 3. Raikkonen fourteenth fastest
Mogyorod, 23 July – Come the end of today’s qualifying at the Hungaroring circuit, Sebastian Vettel was fifth fastest with a time of 1.20.874. The session was heavily affected by rain which started to fall before the start, giving rise to many red flags. Raikkonen paid a high price on the progressively drying track, failing to make the cut into the top ten, as he was the first driver to take the chequered flag in Q2. Kimi thus ended up fourteenth with a time of 1.25.435. Starting from pole tomorrow will be Nico Rosberg who took his Mercedes round in 1.19.965.
Scalding hot tarmac, Ferrari 5th and 6th in run up to qualifying
Mogyorod, 23July – F1 action on Saturday at the Hungaroring got underway with the third free practice session, with air and track temperatures already hitting 30 and 50° C respectively. In the final hour available for evaluating changes made overnight based on Friday’s data, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel tackled a programme that saw them be among the first to take to the track in their SF16-Hs for an out-in lap on Medium tyres, before running two new sets of Supersofts. Raikkonen was fifth fastest with a laps in 1.20.859, while Vettel was sixth in 1.21.185. Topping the time sheet was the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg (1.20.261), ahead of the Red Bull duo of Max Verstappen (1.20.263) and Daniel Ricciardo (1.20.726.)
Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall it was a pretty ok day, we made the right improvements and I’m sure we can still make progress and go faster. I think we are going in the right direction. The conditions of the track are much better, they have done a really good job with the tarmac, it’s much smoother and also the kerbs are better than they used to be. I haven’t seen what the others have done and it’s still Friday, too early to know where we are. We know our rivals are fast, but we can improve, we’ll see what happens.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Today I think we lost a bit of time in the beginning. Obviously with the red flag it was not ideal, we had to come in a couple of times, re-programme the car and go out again. The good news is that we were able to fix it, but I lost a bit of the rhythm. After this the car felt fine, but I think we can improve the setup for tomorrow, and then we should have a better balance in the car. We need to be better in sector 1, 2, 3, I don’t think that there is one sector that stands out. I am not entirely happy with the balance yet, so naturally if everything comes more together I think we can improve overnight and so we will be better in all three sectors. Today is Friday, and I don’t value Friday that much. We look at ourselves, here and there we need to improve, and then go from there. Tomorrow is a new day.”
Seb third and Kimi sixth, working on quick laps and race simulation
Mogyorod, 22 July – Sebastian Vettel was third once again for Ferrari, while in the other SF16-H, Kimi Raikkonen was sixth in the second Formula 1 free practice session, the last of the day, at the Hungaroring circuit. Vettel completed 31 laps, the best in a time of 1.21.348, while Raikkonen did 46 and his best was 7 tenths slower than his team-mate’s, in 1.22.058. Both Ferrari men ran the Soft and Supersoft tyres, and towards the end they worked on split programmes of qualifying simulations and long runs. Quickest was Nico Rosberg, with a 1.21.435 in his Mercedes, followed by Daniel Ricciardo, who posted a 1.21.030 in the Red Bull.
Seb’s optimism boosted by “knowing the team inside out”
“Looking at the results, it’s a fact that obviously we didn’t manage to score enough points to make ourselves in a better position by now, but I don’t think we need to look constantly at the results we have had. Here and there we could have done better but the bottom line is, we were not quick enough. We know we are not yet where we want to be, so that’s something we’re not happy with, but we are working on it very hard. If we could change it overnight we would, but sometimes is not that easy. We had three races in which we didn’t finish, clearly it hasn’t gone the way we were hoping for, clearly we are not yet where we want to be, but equally it is not as bad. So I don’t think it’s the worst season I ever had. In the last race a couple of things went wrong, but with the tests straight after there were quite a lot of things we understood about our car that should help us get back on track in the future. Obviously it’s difficult to change things overnight but I think here is a different story, a different track. I get along very well with the team, by now I know the team inside out and now it’s easier to deal with problems. Obviously we’re focusing on the race but can’t predict the outcome, that’s why we’re here, trying to work on it and get the best possible result. The motivation to win here is very high, it’s a great race, great atmosphere, hopefully we can repeat what we did last year.”
Kimi sees performance “stronger than in Silverstone”
“It’s hard to know how the weekend will go, the season has been going with ups and downs so far, on different tracks and with different conditions, but I’m sure that here we are going to be stronger than in Silverstone. Is it going to be enough? I don’t know. I expect us to be very close, but I might be wrong, we’ll have a rough idea from tomorrow. A lot of things have to come together to have a good weekend, we have to do a good job to give ourselves a chance to fight in the front. For sure our car is better than it was at the beginning of the season, but it’s still not good enough. I feel that in some circuits we are very close and in others we still suffer a lot. I l expect we can improve and win races, but of course things will not happen overnight. Our aim is to be up there with both cars, win races and fight for the Championship. It’s still far from over but we have to be realistic, we have to start winning races to beat our main rivals. There are still many races to go , we can still turn things around, we’ll fight until the end.”
Sebastian’s take on the Hungaroring
After a weekend off, Formula 1 is back in action in Budapest, for the eleventh round of the season and the first of another pair of back-to-back races prior to the summer break. The Hungarian Grand Prix has been a permanent fixture on the calendar since 1986 and has always been held at the Hungaroring, the venue just outside the capital city. Few modifications have been made to the circuit for this year, although the track was resurfaced back in April.
Hungary is a favorite place for Sebastian Vettel and it was here that he took his second ever win with the Scuderia. “Budapest is a sweet memory from 2015, when we were able to win the race after a fantastic start. I think it’s a great place where to be with a lot of fans, a lot of German speaking fans as well travelling from Austria and Germany, and all the Hungarians who are usually very enthusiastic and love Formula 1 being in town. The track itself is quite short and often called “The Monaco of racetracks”, just lacking the walls, but you have a lot of corners, one big straight and after that a lot of corners, and not much time to rest in between. It makes it quite tough and physically a big challenge for the drivers, because it’s quite hot and the track is bumpy, but I think overall it is a place where we love to go.”