Kimi Raikkonen has dismissed suggestions that the Scuderia could struggle against McLaren this weekend in Hungary, even though the track is similar in ways to Monte Carlo, where Ferrari were unable to match the MP4-22's of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Speaking ahead of the latest round in the 2007 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, Kimi added that Ferrari have made a lot of progress with the F2007 since the Monaco Grand Prix back in May and, as such, he expects to be right up there and challenging for the win.

"Everybody says that McLaren has to be stronger than us here; but I don't think that this will be the case," he confirmed. "We have taken a big step forward since the race in Monaco and it will be really interesting to see how competitive we are over the weekend."

Asked about the event in more detail, Raikkonen added that he always looks forward to it, even if the track isn't one of the classics. Indeed for Kimi this is about as close as he gets to a home event, due to the country's proximity to Finland.

"It is always a great pleasure to come to Hungary. Maybe the track is not one of the most fascinating ones, but it is really challenging - and it's good to know that after this race we'll have a short holiday break. Whatever someone does, it's always nice to have a break.

"I have already won this race once. It's very hot here and the race is physically demanding: Only if you win you don't suffer at the Hungaroring!

"Very often the race here in Hungary has been nicknamed the Finnish GP too. Many of my fellow Finns fill the grandstands here at the Hungaroring and it is really nice to see so many white flags with the blue cross in the wind: and this time we will see them together with the red flags of Ferrari. I think this is the closest I can get as a home GP, if [F1 ringmaster] Bernie [Ecclestone] does not have any more surprises!"

As for the last event and his unfortunate retirement due to hydraulic problems, Kimi added that is now 'archived' and that he won't go to Hungary 'as someone defeated'. Indeed his aims are very clear - and he hasn't given up on taking the title this year either, even if he does admit that another 'no score' would be really bad for him.

"Finishing ahead of all the other three drivers who are competing for the title: that's the only way for me to make up ground and that is the target [this Sunday]," he summed-up.

"I'm more or less in the same situation as I was at the N?rburgring, but it's clear that I can't allow myself another race without points. I still believe that it's possible for me to win the title: just look at the last race and you can see that everything can happen. A bad race for my competitors is enough to immediately reduce the gap."

 

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