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Raikkonen deserved better results from opening races - Vettel

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Raikkonen deserved better results from opening races - Vettel
By:
May 7, 2017, 8:30 AM

Kimi Raikkonen has not had the results his performances so far this season have deserved, according to his Ferrari Formula 1 teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H

While Vettel leads the championship after four grands prix, having won two races and twice finished second, Raikkonen has managed just one podium and is already 37 points adrift.

Raikkonen was fourth in Australia and finished more than 40 seconds adrift of the German in fifth in China, prompting Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne to say he wanted talks about the Finn's form.

He recovered from a bad start to finish fourth in Bahrain and ahead of the Russian Grand Prix said "everything is fine" regarding his relationship with Marchionne before delivering his best weekend of the season.

Raikkonen missed out on his first pole position since the 2008 French Grand Prix by just 0.059s at Sochi and showed good race pace to finish third, just over 11 seconds adrift in what was the smallest margin to Vettel this year.

Vettel was sympathetic to Raikkonen's early struggles and believes his fortunes will improve as the year goes on.

"He probably didn't have the races he deserved," said Vettel. "In Bahrain obviously the start, the first lap cost him a lot, otherwise I'm sure he would've been on the podium.

"Obviously I see exactly what happens and things didn't go 100 percent in his direction so far but I don't think there's any doubt inside the paddock that he's one of the most talented drivers we have.

"I don't think anybody else could go to WRC and perform at the level he did, just come back and be right up to the pace again.

"I don't think there's anyone who doubts his skills or his talent but, as I said, you need to have a lot of things coming your way.

"If you look back last year, I had some races where things didn't come way - it's up and down but usually throughout the season it sort of equals out."

Raikkonen believes things can get better if Ferrari improve the "small details" given the close margins between the top four drivers.

"I think I have had a little bit of a rough start to the season," said Raikkonen. "It's far from ideal but the weekend [in Sochi] has been a step forward.

"We have been more happy with how things have been running but we still only finished third.

"We keep trying and keep improving and I'm sure we'll get there, but the small details have to be exactly there and then you will get the first place.

"The four of us are very close most of the time, so it's the small differences that make a big difference in the end."

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