Raikkonen: Hungary is big opportunity
|By Matt Beer||Wednesday, July 22nd 2009, 15:31 GMT|
Kimi Raikkonen believes the Hungarian Grand Prix will be one of Ferrari's best chances to fight at the front this season.
Monte Carlo was Raikkonen's strongest race of the year so far, and he reckons the similarly twisty Hungaroring will prove equally well-suited to the Ferrari - which he thinks could prove crucial as the team is set to switch its focus to 2010 soon afterwards.
"The next race will definitely be the most similar one to the one at Monaco," said Raikkonen. "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 [in Monaco] until the last moment and I think that if we had gained it, the race would have gone in a completely different direction."
But he acknowledged that with all the teams having carried out significant development programmes since Monte Carlo, form on the street track back in May might no longer be relevant this weekend.
"We'll re-try in Hungary, but it will be difficult," said the former champion. "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."
Team boss Stefano Domenicali revealed that Ferrari would switch most of its efforts to its 2010 car "in the next couple of weeks", and Raikkonen admitted that the remainder of 2009 could prove tough with development on the disappointing F60 set to conclude.
"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," he said.
"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."