“Nulla da dichiarare”, GP Canada giovedì–08/06/2017
Kimi Raikkonen: Sebastian Vettel is not number one at Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen has refuted claims his Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel is the Formula 1 team’s number one driver in this year’s championship battle.
Vettel won the Monaco Grand Prix after jumping Raikkonen in the pitstops, with the four-time world champion denying the strategy was part of any plan from Ferrari to switch the order of its cars to benefit its title hopes.
The German’s title rival Lewis Hamilton suggested Ferrari had favoured Vettel, and that it was clear it had chosen him as its lead driver in the championship fight.
When asked by Autosport if Ferrari had a policy that determined Vettel is the number one, Raikkonen said: "No, we don’t have anything.
"But when it comes to that point in the season, when one guy has a chance and the other guy doesn’t have chance, it’s normal.
"It’s like it’s always been in any team I’ve been in F1.
"I don’t have any issues with that, I think it’s fair game.
"We fight until we can and if we have to do something else, then fair enough."
Regarding Hamilton’s comments, Raikkonen said: "I don’t know how much he knows about other teams.
"Whatever he thinks is fine for me.
"We know what we do and sometimes this kind of things happen – it’s nothing unusual.
"Yes, as always [we are free to race].
"We know our rules in the team, we know what the team wants and it’s simple as that.
"We race as hard as we can.
"We always try to beat each other, one guy will be in front every time.
"This time it happened like that. It happens."
When asked if the deal with Ferrari is that he’s number one, Vettel said "No, it’s not."
He added: "At this point of year it makes no sense because you have so many races to go.
"We are not trying to waste energy on what people think we are doing.
"We are doing our best, and as I said we have a clear policy."
Raikkonen cut a disconsolate figure on the Monaco podium but he insists he was not frustrated with the team but rather with that fact he had finished second.
"I’m not mad," he said. "I was never mad.
"I was not happy to finish second – simple as that."
Raikkonen ‘decided’ on future
Raikkonen, whose contract expires at the end of the season, suggested he has crystallised his plans for 2018 but was remaining tight-lipped.
"I have [worked out my plans] but it’s nothing I need to share with any of you," he said.
"It’s none of your business – you keep writing anyway – so it doesn’t change [anything].
"The people who need to know know. We’ll see what happens."
He added: "I have no contract for next year.
"There are always a lot of rumours about my contract every year.
"What happened in Monaco is nothing to do with my contract."