Vettel backs Ferrari decision to keep Raikkonen

Sebastian Vettel has welcomed Ferrari's decision to keep Kimi Raikkonen alongside him during the 2016 F1 season.

The Finnish driver faced an uncertain future as his contract with the Maranello team was coming to an end, but the Italian outfit announced on Wednesday it had extended its deal with the 2007 world champion.

Although Raikkonen has not been able to match the results achieved by Vettel this year, the German believes the move is good for Ferrari.

"I think he's a very good driver. Other than that, I think it's good for the team," said Vettel on Thursday at Spa.

"I got the same question in Hungary but now it's a bit different, but it doesn't change anything to the answer.

"I have a good relationship with him and it's good to keep stability. The best thing is that we work together, working for the team, doing our best, and for sure everybody wants to race them himself, but I don't think either him nor myself have egos that stand in the way of the team."

He added: "It's not my decision, but for sure I was asked for my opinion and I said I'd love to keep working with Kimi.

"The half season that I've had so far, I think the results are not fair because Kimi had a rougher season than I had. That's how it goes sometimes.

"But in terms of performance I think it has been very, very close. And most importantly I get along with him. Nothing has changed since we became teammates, so I think that's positive for the team."

Title "bloody hard"

Vettel took his second win of the 2015 season in the Hungarian Grand Prix last month, reducing the gap to championship leader Lewis Hamilton to 42 points.

Although the four-time champion insists he is not giving up on the title, he admits it will be very hard to close the gap on Mercedes.

"If you look at the maths, I don't think it takes a genius to see how many points we can still score and how many points we are behind," he said. "But for sure we also know that being realistic that it will be bloody difficult.

"If we have the opportunity to turn things around like in Hungary then we have to go for it. If we have the opportunity and we don't use it then it's down to us and our mistake.

"But if you look at the races so far, we had two opportunities that we used. But the advantage is still there. It just doesn't disappear."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Belgian GP
Track Spa-Francorchamps
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news