Thursday in Japan
Kimi Raikkonen says Sebastian Vettel should be ranked as one of the Formula One greats regardless of what he achieves from now on in his career.
Vettel’s recent dominance of the sport led Lewis Hamilton to claim fans are getting bored of one car and driver winning all the time, although he later clarified his comments to call Vettel “a great champion”.
Asked if he thinks Vettel ranks with Michael Schumacher and other great drivers, Raikkonen replied: “For sure he is.
“He doesn’t need to win any more races or championships and he’s achieved a hell of a lot in his career already. For sure he’s achieved a lot and he’s a very good guy and a good driver as well.”
With team-mate Romain Grosjean having been more competitive than Raikkonen in both Singapore and Korea, Raikkonen was asked for his views on his team-mate being good enough to lead Lotus in the future.
“Time will tell. I have no interest to start guessing what will happen to any of us in the future. We will see at some point, but for sure he is a fast driver and he’s doing better than he has done before.
“Yes [he’s a challenger]; he’s been fast but they all are in Formula One.”
Fernando Alonso does not expect Kimi Raikkonen to deliver a speed boost to Ferrari next season, as he thinks the Finn is no quicker than Felipe Massa.
With many in the paddock already focused on prospects for next year, Alonso suggests that the key to Ferrari’s Formula 1 hopes will be on the car it produces, not what Raikkonen brings.
“For next year, with Kimi, we can do a very good championship for Ferrari, and try to again score as many points as possible,” said Alonso ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix.
“But I think in terms of speed, Felipe is not any slower.
“When they were racing together, Felipe was as quick as him in a way.
“So, if we have a competitive car, we will enjoy the season, and we will do very good things.
“If we have a not very competitive car it will be very similar to this season I think.”