Hungarian GP: Kimi Raikkonen targets better qualifying

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton expects Lotus to soon have the pace to win races, but Kimi Raikkonen says they need to improve in qualifying for that to happen.

Raikkonen finished second at the Hungarian Grand Prix, behind Hamilton, with his Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean third.

"It's a bit disappointing that we cannot [win]," said Raikkonen.

"We have not been so strong in qualifying and we keep making it very hard for ourselves on Sundays."

Lotus are still searching for a first victory in 2012, but Raikkonen has come close, finishing second on three occasions.

"We still keep putting ourselves in a good position to at least have a chance to win and get good results, good points for the team," added the 2007 world champion.

"If it comes it's great, if not, we keep trying. I've been in the business long enough that I don't really worry about things too much. We improved our position, our situation in the championship for myself and for the team."

For a while, it had looked like Raikkonen's team-mate Grosjean would be Hamilton's main challenger, but traffic on the circuit saw his fight for first place ultimately fade away.

"The worst moment for me was with Michael Schumacher who wouldn't let me pass and cost me one-and-a-half seconds," said the Frenchman. "But we have to take the positive.

"I am pleased with the way we came back from nowhere in Germany to on the podium before the [summer] break."

Grosjean was being hunted down by Sebastian Vettel for much of the race. The German was determined to snatch a place on the podium, especially after missing out in Germany last week when he was demoted from second to fifth after being penalised for an illegal overtaking manoeuvre on Jenson Button.

"I think our overall speed was better than the actual result we got," said Vettel.

"I was stuck behind Jenson Button in the first stint; he was slower and we lost some time there, but of course you can't just pit and come out in clean air, there's traffic, so there's not much we could have done. The race pace was very good, so now it's up to us to do better in qualifying and at the start; then it's a different race."

Fernando Alonso saw in his 31st birthday by finishing fifth, a result that increases his lead over Mark Webber at the top of the championship to 40 points.

It was the 23rd consecutive race that the Spaniard has finished in the points, and he was more than happy with the result.

"It was a good race in terms of the points and 23 consecutive races in the points is impressive," said Alonso.

"As was the case in qualifying and in Germany, the Red Bulls and McLarens are in front of us and we need to catch up. In Spa we need to be more competitive and quicker."

Webber had made a storming start to the race, quickly moving up from 11th to seventh before eventually crossing the line in eighth place.

"I am not doing much hunting at the moment," said the Australian.

"Fernando is still putting some good points together but let's see how the next few races go. We can talk about the championship when there are just a few races to go, but now we focus on the next race."

For Michael Schumacher, it was a race that he will want to quickly forget.

The seven-time world champion has won the Hungarian Grand Prix more than any other driver, with four wins, but this year's race was a hugely disappointing one for the German as he retired early following a series of problems.

First, Schumacher caused the start of the race to be aborted when he stopped in the wrong grid slot, before switching off his engine when the lights flashed amber after becoming concerned it was overheating. He was subsequently wheeled back to the garage and started from the pit-lane.

Then, he was given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pits, before eventually retiring with a telemetry problem.

"The race this weekend was done before it was started," said Schumacher. "Luckily Nico [Rosberg, who finished 10th] was able to grab a point and that shows in certain races and certain conditions we are competitive, and that is something we have to work on.

"Developments have probably kicked in better for other teams than they have for us in recent weeks. There are certain circumstances that at the moment means we are not competitive yet."

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel

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