Kimi Raikkonen confident of improvements at Ferrari

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Kimi Raikkonen is confident that Ferrari can improve during the second half of the season after a poor run of form in 2014.

The Finn joined the Italian marque at the beginning of the year, and was expected to create a dominant partnership with Fernando Alonso. However, the F14 T car has not lived up to expectations, with the Finn’s run to sixth place on Sunday in Hungary being his best result of the season so far.

This came after Raikkonen was eliminated in the first part of qualifying following a strategic mistake by the team, and he has said that there is great room for improvement at Ferrari.

“I hope that the second part of the season can be much better than the first one, but obviously one little bit better day doesn’t change an awful lot,” he said after the race.

“It doesn’t take away the mistakes and the things we have to really improve, make it work as a team much better. That doesn’t change from this moment to this afternoon. There are an awful lot of things left to be done to make sure we can be where we should be.”

Raikkonen’s motivation has been questioned this year after he said that he would probably retire at the end of next season. However, he reinforced his belief in Ferrari after the race, with the team enjoying its own best weekend of the season at the Hungaroring.

“I believe in the team, that we can put ourselves where we should be,” Raikkonen said. “There are some signs, today we had good speed but obviously starting where we started, it was hard to make any better place.

“I don’t think there is going to be a big difference in three or four weeks, but for sure next year. So we try to work more improving things and improve in the second half, make sure things are how we want and should be.”

MRTI: pre-season testing Day 3 notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Day 3 of pre-season testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway saw the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda continue testing for the second day in a row, with each series completing three sessions on what was their final day of running.

Quick reports on both series are below.

Pro Mazda: Cunha Surges to the Front

While Saturday saw Pro Mazda newcomers like Oliver Askew, Parker Thompson, and Rinus VeeKey lead the way, Sunday saw a pair of second-year Pro Mazda drivers take their turns at the top of the speed charts. In the combined results, Juncos Racing’s Carlos Cunha turned the fastest lap of the final session, also good enough to be the outright fastest lap of the weekend, taking advantage of a fresh set of Cooper Tires to do so.

“I’m really happy, Juncos Racing is an amazing team,” Cunha said of the team’s performance. “On track, we are always improving, never going backwards and that’s very good. We have tested a lot but we still need to learn a lot about the car, though we are almost to a perfect setup. The team has given me everything I need to be comfortable inside the car, to know what the car needs, and to know what I need to be a better driver. We have time to improve and we are moving forward quickly.”

Fellow sophomore driver Sting Ray Robb, now with Team Pelfrey, was right behind Cunha in second.

Combined results across both Saturday and Sunday can be found here.

USF2000: Kirkwood, Cape Motorsports Stay On Top of Deep USF2000 Field

New Cape Motorsports driver Kyle Kirkwood, who topped Session 2 on Saturday, stayed on top of the combined speed charts across the weekend on the strength of his best lap from Session 3 of the weekend on Saturday.

Pabst Racing’s Rasmus Lindh was right behind Kirkwood, on the strength of his quick lap from Session 1.

However, Sunday’s running saw a different driver assert his authority, with Kaylen Frederick, Lindh’s teammate at Pabst, turning the fastest lap during the final session.

Frederick ended up fourth in the combined results, which can be viewed here.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires will take to the Homestead-Miami road course on Monday for the final day of testing for the Mazda Road to Indy.

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