Raikkonen can help Vettel win championship - Alesi

Grand Prix winner and former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi feels Kimi Raikkonen can aid teammate Sebastian Vettel in winning the title.

The Italian outfit confirmed Raikkonen for 2016 in August, ending speculation regarding the Finn's future amid average results.

When asked by Motorsport.com if Ferrari were right to retain the Finn, Alesi said: "Yes, they were."

Elaborating further on the reasons, the ex-F1 driver related a Formula 1's team structure with that of a football team.

"Because in this team what makes the performance is like in football, even if you have Maradona but if he is not surrounded by good players, he cannot score.

"In F1, it is the same, the group spirit is very important and with Raikkonen, he has nothing to prove. The only thing he can is to help Vettel to be world champion."

He also added that Fernando Alonso was right in leaving the team.

New management brought results

After a difficult 2014 season, Ferrari bounced back in 2015 finishing second in the championship which Alesi thinks is down to the changes within the team structure.

"I think for Ferrari with the new management, they made a big, big jump," he said.

He agreed Vettel's inclusion helped, but insisted that it was a team effort.

"Vettel is a top driver but what is very important is to see the new management with Arrivabene and Marchionne, they re-create the group.

"Because, I think the previous group was not working together, but now they are back together and I think it will be good for the future."

Ferrari threat in 2016

While the Maranello-based team challenged Mercedes on odd occasions in 2015, the French driver thinks they will be not far off in 2016.

"For the 2016 championship, it is not something which is impossible," he said.

"Because if you look this year with Vettel even if he had no chance at the beginning, he made a such a good job to be on the podium very consistently.

"And I am sure next year Ferrari will be not far," he added.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jean Alesi , Kimi Raikkonen , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Article type Interview