Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen says that the 2017 Formula 1 title will be very closely contested by both sets of drivers at the Maranello team and Mercedes AMG Petronas. The outcome of the first three rounds of the season indicated that the title fight would take place only between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel after they won one and two races respectively. Yet a surprise victory for Valtteri Bottas in Russia has brought the Finn back into contention, while Kimi Raikkonen also scored his first podium of the year and thus secured vital points that are keeping him close to the leaders.
“I am happy for Valtteri. People always think that we have something against each other because we have come close to each other and into each other a few times but no, I am very happy for him to win. It doesn’t mean that I’m not happy if Seb wins. It’s good for him and things will turn out to be for sure good for him. It’s going to be close between both of the Ferrari and both of the Mercedes drivers this year, so it will be exciting – but unfortunately a lot of times it will depend of what happens in a first lap. That’s how it’s going to play out. Hopefully it goes better.” – Kimi Raikkonen said, as reported by Tuttosport.
The Finn’s initial start to the season has not been ideal, but Scuderia Ferrari seem to be making important steps in the right direction as he credited his progress in Sochi to the small improvements made to the SF70H car: “I think I have had a little bit of a rough start to the season. Far from ideal but for sure [Russia] has been a step forward. We have been more happy with how things have been running but we still only finished third. We lost out at the start and then not a lot happened after that. We keep trying and keep improving and I’m sure we’ll get there, but it’s all about all the small details which have to be exactly there and then you will get the first place. The four or five of us are very close most of the time, so it’s the small differences that make a big difference in the end.” – Kimi Raikkonen concluded.