While Sebastian Vettel has won two out of four Formula 1 races so far this season, his teammate Kimi Raikkonen has struggled to keep pace but the German believes that the veteran Finn is still one of the best drivers on the grid.
Ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend, and in the wake of Raikkonen’s first podium finish this year in Russia recently, Vettel said, “He probably didn’t have the races he deserved. In Bahrain obviously the start, the first lap cost him a lot, otherwise I’m sure he would’ve been on the podium.”
“I see exactly what happens and things didn’t go 100 percent 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.”
Raikkonen is enjoying a second ‘career’ in Formula 1, after winning the 2007 Formula 1 World Championship – the last one won by a Ferrari driver – he departed at the end of 2009 to dabble in World Rally Championship (WRC) and Nascar.
He returned to Formula 1 in 2012 with Lotus before rejoining Ferrari in 2014.
Vettel acknowledged, “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,” added Vettel.
Big Question: Is Kimi doing enough to hang on to his Ferrari seat next year?