Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t believe the relationship between Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari is as bad as is being reported, despite their impending split after this year.
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said Vettel was the team’s number one choice to stay earlier this year, but that the COVID-19 pandemic forced a change of plans. Vettel disputes both claims, saying he never received an offer from Ferrari and that he doubts the global situation was such a key factor. Despite the conflict in terms of opinions that are being voiced, Raikkonen — who was Vettel’s teammate at Ferrari from 2015-2018 — thinks the relationship is being blown out of proportion.
“I spoke to him last weekend, quickly, when we saw each other before the start,” Raikkonen said. “That’s all I know; I don’t know what’s going on there — it’s none of my business and I think it’s unfair to be commenting on if somebody is treated badly or not because I don’t know what’s going on.
“I doubt it’s as bad a relationship as people are making out. Sometimes it goes this way, that you leave the team or you choose to leave, whatever way it happens. You need to ask him, but I wouldn’t put too much into saying how difficult it is for him after just one race — it was not the easiest for him but it wasn’t the easiest for us either. I’m sure they’ll be stronger than they were last weekend.”
Raikkonen dismissed the notion that Ferrari might not give Vettel the same treatment he has always had now he’s leaving, saying he “absolutely” did not notice any change when he was confirmed as departing during 2018.
“I’m certain they (Vettel and teammate Charles Leclerc) get exactly the same treatment, both of them, because it’s in their benefit to try and get the best result with both cars, so I don’t see why they would do anything else.”