Sebastian Vettel Believes Raikkonen Worthy of Better Results

Sebastian Vettel & Kimi Raikkonen, Scuderia Ferrari. Credit: FOTO STUDIO COLOMBO PER FERRARI MEDIA

Sebastian Vettel believes his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, deserves better results than he has achieved so far this year.

Raikkonen is currently the only driver in the top-four who is yet to win a race, with Vettel ahead after two wins.

But Vettel believes Raikkonen’s performance is greater than that suggested on paper, and that ups and downs are simply part of the course.

I think he probably didn’t have the races he deserved,” he said. “At the last race obviously the start and the first lap cost him a lot, otherwise I’m sure he would’ve been on the podium.

“I see exactly what happens [from inside the team] and things didn’t go 100 per cent in his direction so far… but I don’t think there’s any doubt inside the paddock that he’s one of the most talented drivers we have. I don’t think anybody else could go to WRC and perform at the level he did, just come back and be right up to the pace again.

I don’t think there’s anyone who doubts his skills or his talent but, as I said, you need to have a lot of things coming your way. If you look back last year, I had some races where things didn’t come way — it’s up and down but usually throughout the season it sort of equals out.”

The difficulties faced by Valtteri Bottas during the Bahrain Grand Prix resulted in a team-order to allow Lewis Hamilton through, reigniting the debate over number one and number two drivers. Vettel, however, is adamant that there is no such debate at Ferrari.

I think the way we’ve raced in the last two and a half years, everything is straightforward,” he added.

Sometimes it was close, sometimes it was too close as well — I remember China last year from my side, that was never ideal — but you try to fight your teammate as well as all the others, but more than anything I think we know and we understand that we’re racing for Ferrari.”