Raikkonen blames qualifying mistake for missing out on win

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Hungarian Grand Prix
© XPB 

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen has been on the Hungarian Grand Prix podium eight times now, but has won only once. He's been runner-up on five previous occasions, and had to settle for the same again this weekend

With his team mate Sebastian Vettel starting alongside him on pole, Raikkonen found himself unable to improve on his front row qualifying position.

"I got a good start but didn't want to force the issue," he said. "We had a plan as a team, Seb was first yesterday and he got away first. The aim was, in whatever way, to finish 1-2.

"I just kept following for 70 laps," he continued. "I was just following my own rear wing – well, at least it looked the same!

"Not ideal. Obviously I want to win. But it's great for the team," he said. "I had a great car today but obviously I had a mistake in qualifying yesterday."

The major problem was the tight and twisty nature of the Hungaroring, making overtaking a difficult prospect for everyone.

"The other guy has to make quite a big mistake or have some issue," he said. "It's not easy to overtake, obviously especially when it's your team mate. You take more care."

Vettel extended a big lead early on, but then struggled with handling issues which allowed Raikkonen to close up.

The Finn came close to snatching the lead during the single round of pit stops, and felt that he missed out on an opportunity to stay out.

"I caught up with Sebastian at the end of the first stint and once he pitted I had very good speed. But the team called me in," he said. "I'm sure there were reasons for that.

"[After that,] my whole race was basically following Sebastian. But then Mercedes caught us and I was hoping he would go as fast as he could without saving tyres, as they were catching us."

Raikkonen admitted that being the 'meat' in this particular sandwich - with Vettel ahead and first Valtteri Bottas and then Lewis Hamilton pressing from behind - hadn't been a comfortable experience.

"Being in the middle is a bit of an awful place to be," he said. "A bad exit in the last corner with the guy behind having DRS may allow him to get you. That happened maybe once when I got a bit sideways in the last corner.

"In the end we got another 1-2. I can look at what I did yesterday and blame myself for not giving myself a better chance in the race."

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