Thursday in Abu Dhabi
It’s well known that Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel enjoy a friendly relationship so, given today’s news that the German is joining Scuderia Ferrari next season, that was the first topic at Kimi’s usual press meeting this afternoon in the Yas Marina paddock. “I think it will be nice to be with him in the same team” commented Kimi. “Obviously the main objective is to get the Ferrari team in a position where we can be near the front of the field. Of course we will be trying to beat each other all the time but I think we can have fun and get things done in a good way.”
The always straightforward Finn didn’t foresee any difficulties dealing with a new team-mate. “I haven’t worked with him in the same team but I know him best of all the guys,” he continued. “Our relationship has always been very straightforward and I don’t expect any changes on that side. I expect to have a normal and good relationship and hopefully we can get the team back to where we should be. I am sure we can do that, but only time will tell. I trust the people that are designing the new car one hundred percent. We know it will be much better, but it depends what other people will do. Will it be good enough? We will find out next year.”
Two years ago, Raikkonen won here in Abu Dhabi in the season that marked his return to Formula 1. “It was a nice victory,” recalled the Ferrari man. “But it was in a different team in a different year and we must wait and see what we can do this weekend. I’m hoping to have a good race and a good feeling from the car: it all starts from there, so if we can achieve that, we can then get the maximum out of the car. We must make sure we have no issues and then we can have a strong last race.”
As someone who came from behind in the points standing to win the Driver’s Championship in 2007, he was asked which of the Mercedes drivers was in the best position this weekend. “I have been behind when I won the championship, so all you can do in that situation is win the race and hope that things fall into place for you,” replied Kimi. “Quite often in these last years, the championship has gone to the last race and that makes it more exciting, because as we have seen in the past, a lot of things can happen in one race.”
[ Source: ferrari.com ]
Raikkonen expects ‘fun’ with Vettel
Kimi Raikkonen believes his close relationship with new Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel will be a boost to Maranello’s efforts to return to the front of the grid.
Nearly two months after Vettel agreed to join Ferrari, the Italian F1 outfit finally announced on Thursday that the German would be replacing Fernando Alonso next year.
The move is one that Raikkonen is excited about, as he claimed that Vettel is the driver he knows the best in the paddock.
“Obviously I haven’t worked with him before in the same team but I know him best out of any of the guys,” said the Finn.
“Our relationship has been always been very straightforward and I don’t expect any changes.
“On that side, I expect it to be normal and good, and hopefully we can get the team where we should be.”
Raikkonen reckons he and Vettel can put their own competitive interests to one side, and actually have “fun” in their quest to help Ferrari.
“I think it is nice to be with him in the same team and obviously the main objective is to get the team, Ferrari, in the position where we should be in front,” he said.
“We try to beat each other all the time, but we can have fun and get things done in a good way.”
[ Source: autosport.com ]
Q: (Heikki Kulta – Turun Sanomat) Sebastian, how do you see the co-operation with Kimi? Will it be easier for you than with anybody else?
SV: Yes. I think he would probably reply the same if you asked him. That’s what he told me, just before! I think, yes. Why? Because Kimi is probably the least complicated driver on the grid so in terms of performance on the track, when we talk about the skills Kimi has, I don’t think there is a single person in the paddock who doubts his skills, including myself, but from a personal point of view, on a personal level, very straightforward. I don’t expect any complications because I think we have a good relationship but more so, I think we have great respect for each other which I think is always very healthy to deal with in these sorts of situations coming up.