Former Formula One and Scuderia Ferrari driver Mika Salo says that Kimi Raikkonen is the Maranello team’s de facto number 2 driver for the 2017 F1 championship. Ferrari’s controversial pit stop strategy in last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix, where all signs indicated to the possibility of Scuderia favouring Sebastian Vettel, has led to numerous discussions regarding the fact that only one driver can bring the title back to the House of Maranello and what should be the ideal approach for the Italian team as far as the rest of the Formula 1 season is concerned:
“Sebastian Vettel has a good chance of winning the world championship. He is doing a very good job against Hamilton. Kimi is already quite a lot of points behind, so basically he’s the second driver in everyone’s eyes. Of course Kimi may not believe it until it is mathematically impossible to win the championship, but the team’s interest means Kimi is probably the second driver.” – Mika Salo said, as reported by en.f1i.com.
At the same time, Mika Salo added that playing second fiddle does not mean that Kimi Raikkonen will be the subject of draconian “team orders”: “That sort of thing cannot happen anymore, although it may be a bit worse than a pit strategy or something else. We haven’t seen it yet, but I bet we will if Vettel continues to lead and Kimi happens to be faster somewhere. There may be the need to change places.” – the Finnish professional racing driver concluded.
Ahead of the 2017 Canadian Grand Prix, which will take place next weekend at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Scuderia Ferrari’s German driver is leading the Formula 1 Driver Standings with 129 points, followed by the two Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton (104) and Valtteri Bottas (75), while Kimi Raikkonen is currently fourth in the F1 table, with 67 points.