While Kimi Raikkonen accepts there may come a time when team orders are in play at Ferrari, he says that point has not yet arrived.
There were questions about Ferrari’s use of team orders during Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix when Raikkonen was running second to Sebastian Vettel’s third.
However, rather than swap their drivers around, Ferrari allowed them to race to the line with Raikkonen beating Vettel on the day. But while Austria may have played out in his favour, Raikkonen acknowledges that Ferrari will likely use team orders later in the season if deemed necessary.
We’ve always said that we have very clear rules and that’s what we go by since I’ve been in this team,” he told ESPN.
“We know what will happen and when, and if it comes to that then it’s very normal for us.
“It’s only from all you [the media] that you make a big story out of this.
“At a certain point it’s always going to happen and that’s more than fair but right now it’s not the time yet.”
The Finn’s runner-up result at the Red Bull Ring moved him up to third in the championship.
Kimi Raikkonen now sits on 101 points, 45 behind Vettel, with a maximum of 300 still in play.
Asked about his chances of winning the title, the 2007 World Champion replied: “For sure it’s better than a few races ago!
“Obviously Mercedes had two non-finishes, that’s definitively helping me and also helping the team, but that’s part of the game, unfortunately. Apart from that I think we’ve been doing a pretty solid job but it could always be better.
“We need to make sure those things don’t happen again because you cannot just expect that everybody else has days like that. Maybe ten years ago it was more likely that every team, every car, would stop at some point in a race but we’ve seen in the last few years that’s very unlikely that it will happen.
“It may happen sometimes but you cannot expect it to happen to the others because it has happened to you. It doesn’t work like that anymore. Apart from that it hasn’t been too bad and we try to keep it up and do the best we can and, hopefully, keep scoring good points.