Schumacher Happy with Podium

World champion Michael Schumacher said he was far from unhappy about losing out to Kimi Raikkonen in the Hungarian Grand Prix

Schumacher Happy with Podium

The Ferrari driver did not have the pace to match his McLaren rival during the Hungaroring race, and his only hope of victory would have been to stay ahead of the Finn during the pitstops because of how hard it is to overtake there.

But although in the end Schumacher's pace dropped off as the race progressed, dropping him back into the clutches of Toyota's Ralf Schumacher, he believed Ferrari had plenty of reasons to be happy.

"Well, actually I was pretty happy with the pace we were able to run (in the early stages), there wasn't that much between us considering that he stopped earlier so he was lighter at that stage," said Schumacher.

"It seemed pretty similar but with time our tyres sort of went slower. Staying in front after the first pit stop I saw he was coming and he was then quicker but not quick enough to get by us and it was only about who would stop when and we were obviously hoping they would stop in front of us.

"But they managed to stay out one more lap and that moved the race towards them. I think if we would have been able to stay in front after the pit stops, because it is so difficult to pass, we might have had a chance but we will never find out.

"It was a good race, anyway, for us. From where we came, to finish second, we are pretty happy on that, we had a good weekend and to finish second is a good motivation for everyone in the team. Hard work for all of them in the last few months and a little payback."

Although Schumacher came under pressure from his brother in the closing stages he insisted that he had the situation under control - having looked after his tyres once he realised he could not challenge Raikkonen.

"Obviously our tyres started to get slower and I watched out for the tyres as soon as I knew I couldn't do anything against Juan and Kimi," he said. "At that stage I just preserved the tyres and drove as quickly as I needed to drive.

"As I said it is so difficult to overtake and by the end of the race everybody's tyres are a bit down and it is even more difficult so I just went as quick as I had to, Ralf was quicker but not quick enough to pass here."

Despite helping Ferrari to their most convincing weekend performance of the season, including Indianapolis, Schumacher believed that it was too early to say the team were back in the fight at the front of the grid.

"Well, for here it was certainly a step in the right direction," he explained. "We have to confirm that it is the case at different places, but nevertheless it is very clear where we have to improve and we will keep on working, but it is obviously good that we seem to be alright in qualifying and the initial performance whereas before we were not.
 
"So it is going in the right direction."

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