With Kimi Raikkonen set to be confirmed by Ferrari for another year, the Iceman has revealed how he and Sebastian Vettel get on well in the cauldron that is Maranello, suggesting that the pair are well suited to continue as teammates beyond 2018.
In a rare interview, Raikkonen told Sport Bild, “At a certain point in the world championship fight, the team takes precedence. That has always been clear to me. I’m not around just since yesterday.”
Vettel always speaks highly of Raikkonen, and it is well known that the German wants to keep the Finn at his side in 2019 amid speculation that Ferrari may promote their young rookie Charles Leclerc in place of the veteran.
The four times F1 world champion said recently of his teammate, “We’re a good pair, a good match. There’s no problem at all between us, ever. I think that’s a really big bonus for the team and for us to just enjoy our job.”
Of Vettel’s kind words, Raikkonen said with a laugh, “It’s definitely better than him calling me an idiot! Seriously, we’ve always got along well. With him, there is no politics or other bullshit, but a normal male friendship.”
“He is very straightforward and success has not changed him. Even after our crash in Singapore in 2017, there were no arguments or silence. He’s a guy who can say it was his mistake, and I’m the same. It is much better to work in this nice atmosphere. That also helps make the car faster!”
The word from Italy indicates that Raikkonen and Ferrari are in the throes of finalising another year-long deal which will keep their 2007 Formula 1 champion with them for another year.
Apparently, he got the nod from the new management just before the Hungarian Grand Prix, hence the unusual smiles and family entourage at Hungaroring.
Apart from Vettel’s support, Raikkonen also has the ear of team chief Maurizio Arrivabene who is big fan of his drivers and keen to retain stability at Maranello, in the wake of a destabilising month of June which included the death of their chairman Sergio Marchionne.
Raikkonen makes no secret of his desire to continue, “Of course I would like to stay, but that’s Ferrari’s decision alone. I’ll wait just as much as you do.”
“We both have the same goal: to make Ferrari Formula 1 World Champions and we complement each other very well in the way we drive for the team,” he added.
Big Question” Should Ferrari keep the faith in Kimi for another year?