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2015 F1

Mercedes ‘still strongest’ despite Vettel win – Ferrari

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Mercedes 'still strongest' despite Vettel win - Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen may have moved a step closer to keeping his Ferrari race seat for 2016. Corriere dello Sport, however, stands by its earlier report that Ferrari’s contract buyout deal with Williams to secure Valtteri Bottas’ services is already done.

For his part, Finn Bottas is glad the summer break has arrived.

“I think I will hide for a while in the Finnish forests,” he smiled after another weekend of high speculation in Hungary.

Raikkonen might also be happy with the lull, especially as he performed well in Hungary following a series of disappointing results in recent races.

Pino Allievi, the veteran and influential correspondent for La Gazzetta dello Sport, said technical trouble marred the actual result but “This is a Kimi that Ferrari and the Tifosi wants”.

Former F1 driver and fellow Finn Mika Salo agrees that Raikkonen was competitive throughout the Hungaroring weekend, concluding to the broadcaster MTV3: “It makes me believe that Kimi could stay with Ferrari.”

Coupled with Sebastian Vettel’s win, it was a strong showing all round for the Maranello team in Hungary, boosting hopes that a title challenge may still be possible.

Former Renault boss Flavio Briatore told the Italian source Adnkronos: “This season it (the title) seems impossible, but next year…”

Ferrari chief Maurizio Arrivabene apparently agrees, declaring that Vettel’s win means the team has now achieved his pre-season target of two victories.

“At three we would be in paradise,” he said. “We have two but we must keep our feet on the ground. Mercedes is still the strongest team.” (GMM)

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