Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen attended the first part of Thursday’s press conference ahead of the 2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix, alongside Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren) and Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso). Kimi stressed the fact that the priority for him and Sebastian Vettel was to strengthen Ferrari’s cause in the fight for the Formula One Constructors’ championship:
“Obviously the first thing is to try to make sure we can be on the top with Ferrari, that’s the most important thing. And then obviously if Seb can win and if I don’t have any chance, that’s how it goes. The first thing is to work for Ferrari and put them in the best possible position, and then we will see.” – the Finnish driver said, as reported by the Italian media at the end of the press conference.
Kimi Raikkonen confirmed that he will support his teammate in the battle for the Formula 1 drivers championship with Lewis Hamilton if he becomes mathematically incapable of winning the title this year. The Ferrari driver also said he will only have to follow team orders to help Sebastian Vettel if he drops out of championship contention entirely: “I think we have very clear rules in the team, what we are allowed and not allowed to do and what the team wants us to do. It goes by those rules. I don’t know if I have any interest to tell what we talk inside the team in here. I think Maurizio [Arrivabene] has said something and nothing has changed. We know exactly when things will can go either way, that’s fine, that’s how it’s always been, at least in the teams teams I’ve been in. When I don’t have a chance mathematically any more to fight for the championship for sure I will help. I have no issues with that and I haven’t in the past. I think it’s just a very easy decisions for all of us, at least in our team.” – Kimi explained.
The Finnish driver has yet to finish a race in front of his team mate this year and as a result Sebastian Vettel currently has almost twice his points tally: “It’s a big difference, yes.” – Kimi Raikkonen admitted during the press conference in Baku – “The bad races add up, Seb has done very good races so far, been strong everywhere.. I was not starting very well the first races, obviously not too bad, but not where I want to be. And then here and there little problems, one DNF, last race wasn’t ideal. That’s how it goes unfortunately when your team mate is on the podium more or less every time. The points turn around quickly, that’s racing.” – the 2007 Formula One world champion concluded.