Thursday in Barcelona
Kimi: “It was nice to have a good result in Bahrain and now we keep working always with the same approach, always trying to improve. It is also nice to come back to European races: here we have some upgrades but we don’t know what the others are doing, so let’s wait and see what’s happening in the next races. The car package is quite good this year and the we’re all working very well together: The team gives me and Sebastian the same chances and obviously we try to beat each other for the Drivers’ championship, but in a good and fair way, in the interest of the team. It is clear that we also want to win the manufacturers’ title and for this purpose, having two cars always there in the points is crucial. Compared to Mercedes there have been improvements, but we know we’re still behind. We need to work to further improve the whole package.”
Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has taken the right approach to let him race Sebastian Vettel as equals this season.
Ferrari has previously allocated priority to one of its drivers at a certain point in a season, with former president Luca di Montezemolo previously saying the team did not want “two roosters in the same hen house”. However, having paired Raikkonen with Fernando Alonso last season, Ferrari now has two world champions again as team-mates who are allowed to race each other and Raikkonen says it is the best approach in his view.
“Every team boss is different and you can have a different feeling or relationship with a different guy, a different boss,” Raikkonen said.
“I know Maurizio from before and we had a good relationship but yes it’s different how the team is being run this year, how things are being done in the team and I think it’s only good changes.
“It’s the only way how it should be run and it will be good for the team.
Asked if the current situation hadn’t always been the case, Raikkonen replied: “It’s different than last year and it’s a lot better.”
“In the end in the team there is two cars, yes we fight for the world drivers’ championship as drivers’ but the team wants to win the manufacturer championship and you need to have two cars for that, to be able to fight for the title.
“Ferrari will give us both the same chances and fair treatment, so it’s up to us. We try to behave as well as we can against each other if we have to race. We try to beat each other but in a good way and with the interests of the team in mind. Everything works and how the team is being run is really good for all of us.”
Although Raikkonen is seemingly enjoying a stronger relationship with Arrivabene than his short-lived predecessor Mattiacci, Ferrari’s new team principal has still made clear in recent weeks that the Finnish veteran has to earn a contract renewal.
Ferrari have an option on the 35-year-old’s services for 2016 and Arrivabene said at the last race in Bahrain that he was in no hurry to tie up Raikkonen for next season as “I don’t want the driver to fall asleep, I want to keep him up”.
Speaking on Thursday, the driver himself said he was happy to wait for Ferrari’s call.
“It is their decision and obviously it depends what they feel is right or wrong. I don’t think about it, let’s wait and see,” Raikkonen insisted.
Raikkonen said in Bahrain it is up to Ferrari whether he is retained for an extra year or not, with the team holding an option for 2016. With Valtteri Bottas having been linked with a move to Maranello as Raikkonen’s replacement, Vettel says he wants his current team-mate to be retained.
“I don’t mind too much, obviously my contract is a little bit longer than Kimi’s contract but I think if he continues here it will be positive for the team because they know him from the time he was here before and over the past few years,” Vettel said. “It is important that you work well together as a team and as far as those first couple of races have been that is the case for the both of us.”
| Source: f1i.com |
Q: “Kimi, what has changed since last year?” Raikkonen: “The year” 😂
— Gianlu D’Alessandro (@Gianlu_DAle) May 8, 2015
— Sandra Baumgartner (@Sky_SandraB) May 7, 2015