Kimi Raikkonen believes third place was the best result possible for him at the Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix, but he called on Ferrari to improve its race starts. 

The Ferrari driver dropped one position to fourth when his fast-starting teammate Sebastian Vettel swept around the outside at Turn 2 on the opening lap in Budapest. Raikkonen carried out a two-stop strategy but was hampered by a slow opening pit-stop which left him adrift of the leading runners. 

He recovered up to fourth having rapidly cut the gap to the squabbling Vettel and Bottas ahead, before passing Bottas for third to claim his ninth podium finish in Hungary after the Mercedes driver made contact with Vettel at Turn 2 while defending.

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“I think that was the best we could hope for today,” Raikkonen said. “Obviously it was far from ideal at the start, I think we need to improve those a bit to make our life a bit easier. 

“We caught up with Bottas after the first pit stop but there was no chance to overtake, so at that point our option to stop again to try again. At least we got one place back. 

“It was far from ideal, we had pretty good speed today but what can we do? Sometimes it’s like that, we take the points and go for the next one,” he added. 

“The end result doesn’t really feel like a happy one. As a team we scored decent points. I think we have a few things to improve, I’m sure we have all the speed to be higher up. 

“It depends which way you look at it. I don’t think it was a disaster, but it could have been better.”

Raikkonen had to complete the race in soaringly-hot conditions without the use of his drinks bottle, after Ferrari forgot to connect it on the grid, though the Finn insisted “it was not a big deal”. 

"It wasn’t really an issue,” he explained. “Of course it’s nice to get some water in your mouth some times, have a drink every now and then. Yes, the water bottle was a small issue but apart from that that there were no issues. 

“It was not a big deal, in the end, the race went pretty quickly, also because we were pushing all the time.”

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