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Cooperating drivers 'a relief' for Ferrari - Raikkonen

  • Published on 11 Dec 2015 12:14
  • comments 3
  • By: Rob Veenstra

The calmness brought by Ferrari's new driver lineup was a "relief" to the team, Kimi Raikkonen says. Last year, turmoil at the fabled Maranello marque was arguably worsened by tension in the pits, where Finn Raikkonen and the now-departed Fernando Alonso barely exchanged a word.

But this year, in a lineup that will remain in place for 2016, Raikkonen was paired with Sebastian Vettel, who is not only a quadruple world champion but also a rare friend of Raikkonen's within the F1 paddock. "It is of course nicer for the drivers that they are on speaking terms, are able to work together and talk about things," Raikkonen told the Finnish broadcaster MTV this week on a media visit to Helsinki.

"For the team, it is a pretty big relief and also an advantage that there is no secrecy or politics," the 2007 world champion added. As for working with Vettel, Raikkonen continued: "We both like pretty much the same sort of car -- our setups are always pretty close. That makes it easier for the team to work and also to develop the car."

Ferrari, however, openly considered ending the pairing for 2016, with Valtteri Bottas said to have been the obvious candidate to replace the older Finn. But Bernie Ecclestone thinks Ferrari was right to re-sign the 36-year-old, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Are you sure there is someone who could have done a better job for Ferrari than Kimi Raikkonen? I'm not sure."

Raikkonen also dismisses the notion that he is now struggling to be fully competitive in F1. "Next year will be another chance to start from zero," he said, admitting that his 2015 campaign overall was only "average". "However, the pace was ok compared to last year. If you do not have the momentum, that is a much more worrying situation, even if of course there is always a lot of room for improvement." (GMM)

Replies (3)

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  • For once, I agree with Ecclestone: few are as good as Kimi, and I just dont think Bottas is good enough yet, even though he has been more than convincing.

    • + 0
    • Dec 11 2015 - 14:01
  • khasmir

    Posts: 893

    When Hamilton joined Merc, I remember people saying: "he and Rosberg are good friends, they will work together very well..." Just look where they are now...
    It's good to see it doesn't always have to be like that, maybe Vettel and Raikkonen not being in a position to fight for the championship might help them to work together and keep the peace.

    • + 0
    • Dec 11 2015 - 19:57
  • siowwf

    Posts: 3

    One thing I am sure is that everyone is expecting so much more on Kimi compared to that of Bottas'. But no one has a solid answer on whether Bottas is better yet.

    • + 0
    • Dec 12 2015 - 11:42

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Driver profile

  • Team Alpine F1
  • Points 158
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  • Grand Prix 88
  • Country ES
  • Date of b. Jul 29 1981 (40)
  • Place of b. Oviedo, ES
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.71 m
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