Despite slipping 20 points behind Lewis Hamilton in the Formula 1 title race following the young Briton's victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen insists that he hasn't given up hope on overhauling the rookie to secure the championship crown.

Raikkonen endured a tough run of form earlier in the season, but has bounced back with two wins and his Hungarian second place in the last four starts, and is now the leading non-McLaren runner in the standings, behind Hamilton and double champion Fernando Alonso.

However, Raikkonen admitted that Hamilton was the last person he wanted to finish ahead of him in Hungary, which leaves him with plenty to do in the remaining six races.

"If there was one driver, who should have not been in front of me, it was Hamilton," the Finn reflected. "The gap between him and me has grown to 20 points. I raced the whole race in second position, behind the British driver. I had a really good race rhythm and a good pace. If I had had a free track, I could have been much stronger.

"Before the last lap I slowed down a bit to build up some space ahead of me for a hot lap, just to see what time I could have done: we got the confirmation, that we could have gone faster! Hamilton is a really good driver and he did not commit one error: I was looking for a chance behind him but he didn't make any mistake, so I didn't have a possibility to pass him. After the qualifying we knew that we had a strong car, but at the first pit stop we tried to guess how much fuel McLaren had put into the car, trying to pass them; but that didn't work out."

Despite finishing behind the current points leader, the Finn added that he hasn't yet given up hope on closing the gap, although he admits that both he and Felipe Massa need to start securing 1-2 finishes if Ferrari is to reclaim the crown.

"The championship is not over yet, that's for sure," he said. "The gap to the leader has not changed substantially and we can't give up. We have an excellent car and I think that the Hungaroring was the only race track so far, where we could have expected to have a slight disadvantage compared to McLaren.

"Whenever we have won a race, as in Magny-Cours and at Silverstone, we made up ground. I'm convinced that when we go back onto a similar track, we can be much more competitive. At Istanbul, Monza and Spa-Francorchamps, where there are many long straights and fast corners, we should be able to play out the F2007's characteristics.

"Felipe and I have to try to bring home some nice one-two wins. I know that it's difficult to win six races in a row, but we have to try. With a little bit of luck we can catch the leaders."

 

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