Kimi Raikkonen kept his title challenge on track by rising from sixth to second in Hungary, and
Having opted for a two-stop strategy Raikkonen said he was confident that he could keep Vettel at bay in the closing laps, despite the RBR driver having significantly younger tires.
“I knew that my tires are pretty OK and I was good through the last sector, so I was pretty sure there was no chance to try to overtake me into the first corner,” said Raikkonen. “But then obviously turn two was a bit more tricky for me all race. He got a good run, Sebastian once before and then a second time and I defended. Maybe I’m over a bit on the right and it’s a bit tight but then I kept him behind and that was the only time he had a good run on me. In there it is very difficult to overtake because it is so narrow on top of the hill.
“After that I had no issues. That was the only part of the circuit that I really had some problems with the tires. But it was good work for the team, the car was working well but unfortunately Saturdays keep making the race a bit difficult for myself. Hopefully we can fix that a little bit, and be a bit more on the front at the beginning of the race.”
Regarding the Lotus team’s current form he said: “Obviously we always hope for more, myself and the team hopes for more. I think we’ve made progress, for sure. Now we have tires that are a little bit different and I wasn’t so happy with how things ran on Friday and yesterday – more happy in qualifying than the whole weekend before that but still not ideal and in the race we usually run better than in qualifying.
“I was happy with the car in the race but obviously when you start from such a bad starting place it’s difficult to make big progress on this kind of circuit but I managed to do two stops and we’re still pretty competitive so we’re happy how we’ve done. But we’re here to try to win races and if we keep finishing second and third like we’ve done many times this year, it’s probably not enough for the championship but the best thing today when we finished second we gained a few points on Sebastian, so it’s better than nothing but with a win it would have been a much bigger difference.”