Raikkonen not expecting quick Ferrari fightback

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Kimi Raikkonen has said that Ferrari cannot expect to fix its problems in a matter of weeks, and must instead focus on a long-term plan.

The Finn joined the team at the beginning of the year, and, alongside Fernando Alonso, he was tasked with returning the team to the front of the grid in 2014. However, he has scored just 17 points, and currently lies 12th in the drivers’ standings.

“We have issues, and we are not as fast as we want to be, and we just have to fix them obviously,” Raikkonen explained. “We would be happy [if] we were winning races, and we’re not, so it’s those things that we have to fix.

“It’s many small things, and when we fix those we’ll be where we want to be. It’s a long process. It won’t happen in three weeks. I think we’re never happy until we’re winning races and championships. There’s always things you can fix.”

When asked whether he thought he could win a grand prix in 2014, the Finn was blunt: “I have no interest in start guessing here. Hopefully we’ll improve.”

Of course, the sport is currently being dominated by Mercedes, and Raikkonen does not see that changing in the near future.

“It’s very hard for anybody to challenge them [Mercedes] for the championship,” he said. “I may be wrong, but that’s how it goes. In the past, you’ve seen it can all change. Our aim is to fix the things that we think is the issue and get better all the time, and do the best that we can do racing.”

Raikkonen won the race back in 2005, and finished on the podium one year later. His record around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is impressive, scoring points in all but one of his races there, and he will be hoping to finish in the top ten once again this weekend.

Hartley says debut F1 point would be ‘a dream’ from last on grid

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Brendon Hartley says scoring a point on his Formula 1 debut would be “a dream” after being resigned to last place on the grid for the United States Grand Prix following an engine penalty.

Porsche factory driver Hartley was drafted in by Toro Rosso to replace Pierre Gasly for the USGP when the Frenchman was ruled out due to clashing commitments in Super Formula.

Despite having not driven an F1 car since 2012, Hartley came within one-tenth of a second of making it through to Q2 on Saturday at the Circuit of The Americas, ultimately qualifying 18th.

“Obviously I’d love to be quicker but we knew we were starting at the back, so we put a lot of focus on long runs, getting the peak performance out of this Pirelli tire I didn’t get today,” Hartley told NBCSN after the race.

“In FP3 I had a good feeling. There’s a lot of quirky things to manage with these tires. Honestly I should be happy with how the weekend’s gone so far.”

The New Zealander will start last due to a 25-place grid penalty for changes made to his power unit ahead of practice on Friday, and is daring to dream of making the top 10 in his first race out of a sports car for more than five years.

“I don’t do the 24 hours completely alone!” Hartley joked. “It’s quick. It’s physical to drive. I’ll be happy to be done after an hour and a half.

“A point would be a dream starting from the back. If I can move forward and put a race together, I’ll be happy.”

The United States Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2pm ET on Sunday.