Former Formula One racing driver and current presenter, commentator and journalist David Coulthard thinks that Scuderia Ferrari was right to confirm both drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, for the 2018 Formula One championship. The Maranello team decided to retain the same driver line-up for the fourth consecutive season after they handed Kimi Raikkonen a new one-year contract until the end of 2018. The Finn’s deal was tied up just before Sebastian Vettel agreed a new three-year deal.
A number of outsiders believe that Kimi was given the deal in order to keep the German, who is clearly the number one in the team, happy. The 2007 F1 world champion has failed to match Sebastian Vettel in terms of race wins and is yet to win a race since he rejoined Scuderia Ferrari back in 2014. But David Coulthard believes the team’s decision is final and they will have had in their possession more information regarding why it was a good decision to retain the Finn rather than sign a new driver to partner the German four-time champion:
“I personally think that although he is still a quality racing driver, I don’t think Raikkonen’s really threatening Vettel, and maybe he is not at the peak of his powers, but he has a good relationship with Sebastian and it works well within the team. In the end, Ferrari has all the information available to them, they know how he compares in actual facts rather than just what we see from a lap time and they know what their options are, and if Ferrari then decide that he is their best option for another one-year deal, then really there’s no point for anyone else to speculate.” – the Scot explained, as reported by the British media.
David Coulthard, who is a brand ambassador for Heineken, also said that Lewis Hamilton now has the momentum in his Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship battle with Sebastian Vettel, as the Briton has gone on to extend his championship lead from three points to 28 after taking the win at the Singapore Grand Prix after pole sitter Vettel retired on the first lap following a crash involving Max Verstappen and teammate Kimi Raikkonen: “Both are quality drivers, and this is the first time we’re really seeing them go head to head as their two cars are closer together than probably any other time in their careers. We’ll probably never see them head to head in the same car similar to Prost/Senna, because Vettel is signed to Ferrari for another 3 years and by the time that comes around who knows whether Hamilton will still be racing. I think the momentum has now switched to Hamilton and with that momentum on paper today he’s more likely to win the championship.” – the Former Formula One racing driver concluded.