Kimi Räikkönen takes podium finish in sun-drenched Budapest
Sunday 3 August 2008
Heikki Kovalainen Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes Winner 1h37m27.067
Timo Glock Panasonic Toyota Racing 2nd +11.0
Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari 3rd +16.8
Felipe Massa Scuderia Ferrari DNF
Heikki Kovalainen clinched his first ever Formula One victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend. The Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes driver was followed onto the podium by Timo Glock of Panasonic Toyota Racing, with Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen in third. Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa dominated the race from the first corner, but was forced to retire just three laps from the end.
Lisa Lilley, Shell Technology Manager for Ferrari commented after the race: “Kimi’s podium finish has given Scuderia Ferrari valuable points. While the sport will now break for summer, Shell’s work will go on unabated. As a technical partner, we will continue to support Ferrari over the next three weeks in the hope of adding more points in Valencia."
The result sees Räikkönen move into second place in the FIA Formula One Drivers’ World Championship with 57 points, five points behind Lewis Hamilton of Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes. Felipe Massa dropped to third place with 54 points. Across in the Constructors’ Championship, Scuderia Ferrari retains the lead with 111 points, ahead of Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes on 100 and the BMW Sauber F1 Team on 90 points.
Valencia will host the European Grand Prix on Sunday 24 August 2008.
Selected comments from Scuderia Ferrari after the race:
Stefano Domenicali: “Today we showed the worth of our team and our drivers, but we lacked the total reliability which is absolutely vital. Felipe drove possibly the best race of his career and we are very disappointed about what happened to him just a handful of kilometres from the end. He made an amazing start, attacking at the right moment and then he was comfortably managing his race in the final stages heading for a well-deserved victory. Kimi’s race was compromised by his poor qualifying result yesterday: when you start further back it’s hard to climb up the order. He was stuck behind Alonso for much of the race, but when he finally had a clear track ahead of him, he showed all his and the F2008’s potential. We have to react to this negative moment in our usual way: with grit, determination and with everyone playing their part. We have three weeks of hard work ahead of us to be as well prepared as possible for the European Grand Prix.”
Felipe Massa: “It happened completely without warning, without giving the slightest indication. I was managing the race, because I had a good advantage over second place after Hamilton was delayed with a problem and I was taking no risks whatsoever. I am very frustrated at the moment, because today we had a great car and we had done everything perfectly until just a few kilometres from the finish. Unfortunately, racing can be a cruel sport. We had given it our all, but these things can happen. Now we must not give up, but instead we must react quickly. There are seven races to go and 70 points up for grabs, which means there is plenty of time to make up ground. Our rivals are strong but we have shown we are at their level.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “I am sorry for Felipe and for the team as it is horrible to lose a race in this way. It was tough for me because, when you spend a long time behind a slower car it becomes frustrating and boring. When I was finally able to push, the car was behaving very well, but by then it was too late. I came up behind Glock but in the end, I had to slow as I had a mechanical problem with the rear end and the team told me to be very careful to ensure I brought the car home. It’s true that I’m the one who has won the most points out of the top three in the classification, which shows this championship is really unpredictable, with ups and downs for everyone. It was a disappointing weekend for me but, at least I managed to come away with a decent result. We must try and fix the problems we have in qualifying to start at the front, so as to exploit the potential of the car. If we can do that, then we can get back to fighting for the win.”
Luca Baldisserri: “It hurts to see a car stop with a failure just a few laps from the end when you are solidly in the lead. It’s a real shame, because Felipe drove an extraordinary race: a perfect start, always a fast pace and a great management of the situation in the final stages. Kimi was behind Alonso for two thirds of the race and only when he had a free track ahead of him was he able to show what he can do. Today, we showed our package is up to the job in terms of performance, but we lacked the necessary reliability. We must continue to work to improve still further, as indeed our competitors are doing. We can expect some weeks of hard work ahead of the next race where we want to achieve what slipped from our grasp today in the very last moments.”