Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene hailed Kimi Räikkönen as “a true team player” after the Finn aided Sebastian Vettel’s path to victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Vettel led away from pole position but a race-long problem with his steering, which became worse, slowed his pace, and he came under pressure from Räikkönen.
Räikkönen, who felt he could have run longer in the first stint to overhaul Vettel, held station in second spot, closely behind the German, and resisted pressure from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
Vettel ultimately managed his issue to register Ferrari’s fourth victory of the campaign, while Räikkönen came home in second position, boosting the team’s title prospects, its deficit to Mercedes reduced to 39 points.
“It was a great race and a result obtained in far from easy circumstances,” explained Arrivabene.
“Once again it demonstrated the strength of character at Ferrari. Congratulations to the guys at the circuit and back in Maranello, working together in what is the mark of a great team.
Seb drove a magnificent race, managing to keep the lead despite the problem with the steering wheel.
“He was helped by a great performance from Kimi who demonstrated, not only that he is a champion, but also that he is a true team player.”
Räikkönen expanded on his side of the race, feeling that he was never able to utilise his “full speed”, but accepted that his race was compromised by his own error in Q3.
“In places like this it’s tricky to try and overtake and I did not want to force things too much with my team-mate,” said Räikkönen.
When you end up between two cars is not the easiest situation. When they called me for the pit stop I wanted to stay on track a bit longer because I felt I had the speed, but the team has the big picture and I trust them.
I ended up following Seb through the whole race and I was never able to use my full speed.
“I knew I had all the tools to finish in a better position, but I should have done a better qualifying.”