Raikkonen will help Vettel “when I don’t have a chance mathematically”

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen confirmed he will support his team mate’s championship bid if he becomes mathematically incapable of winning the title this year.

The Ferrari driver 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,” said Raikkonen during the press conference in Baku. “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.”

Raikkonen stressed the priority for him and Vettel was to strengthen Ferrari’s cause in the 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,” he said. “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.”

Raikkonen is yet to finish a race in front of his team mate this year and Vettel has almost twice his points tally.

“It’s a big difference,” Raikkonen admitted. “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.”

2017 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    35 comments on “Raikkonen will help Vettel “when I don’t have a chance mathematically””

    1. Consistent with what KR said after Monaco, this is how it should be. This is the type of team order I have always expected and have never been bothered by. When these orders become more debatable is when the fans feel they were implemented prematurely, before the math dictated it, and that can be shades of grey sometimes depending on how much reaction there needs to be depending on what the competition is doing points wise.

      But really, implimented as KR implies they will be is when an order really isn’t even necessary. It becomes a no-brainer, plain for all to see and understand, and a lesser pointed teammate needs to at a minimum at least not hinder if not help his teammate who has a WDC shot.

      1. Sounds like a smoke screen to me from Kimi, he’s got his orders I bet. I mean we did hear over team radio his engineer telling him ‘you know the score’ when Vettel was reeling him in after their final stops. Would have been interesting to see what happened if his brake-by-wire hadn’t intervened.

    2. Mathematically improbable is what Ferrari seems to be thinking about rather than mathematically incapable :p

      1. @sravan-pe You’ve hit the nail on the head there: In 2007 and 2008 it was “mathematically incapable”, in 2010 it was “mathematically improbable”…

        1. Yeah that’s where the shades of grey come in, as do the debates.

        2. @keithcollantine Ha ha… The “Fernando is faster than you” year, of course :p

          1. Yeah on a day when suddenly both RBR’s were out of it and it was an opportunity for FA to close the gap by a percentage that was not looking likely at the start of the race, if I recall correctly. The gap was more likely looking to increase not decrease at the start of the day. I’m far and away no fan of the one rooster concept, but on that day I found myself defending Ferrari for that decision. It was not at all unlike what we have already seen this season and likely will again this season too.

            1. @robbie it is very different actually, back then team-orders were actually against the rules.

              We can have our own opinions in favour or against them, but if it is written in the rules it really doesn’t matter, team just have to abbey them and that’s it

      2. @sravan-pe

        Exactly. Ferrari asked Felipe in 2010 to move over, although technically, he could have still won the WDC, but the chances were slim. In Austria 2002, asking Rubens was a little ridiculous since they were dominating anyways and it was a little too early in the season, but that was the way Schumacher had structured his relationship with Ferrari.

        Although Kimi is hoping for team orders to come in to play when it’s mathematically impossible, he’s already hit the mathematically improbable zone, so I expect them to start asking him to move over within a race or two’s time, when he trails Sebastian by more than a 100 points.

    3. Ferrari, Seb fan
      22nd June 2017, 12:55

      Very interesting, I wonder how Kimi will react IF Ferrari give a team order (and that’s a big if).

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        22nd June 2017, 13:06

        I don’t think it’s that big an “if” to be honest. Mercedes have already used team orders so in order to beat the car with the best engine on the grid and two drivers working together, you have to use team orders yourself.

        It won’t happen yet but in the 2nd half of the season, I’d be amazed if Kimi is allowed to race Seb.

        1. How many times over their time as team mates have there even been a “race” between them? Very, very rare.

          1. SevenFiftySeven
            23rd June 2017, 16:22

            That is exactly the point they are trying to hide. The mantra here is to underplay (mostly ignore) Kimi’s inconsistent delivery to make Seb look weak. Read that as a ploy to undermine Vettel by playing the Kimi card. As for Ferrari, their fault was to sign a certain driver to pave the way for a Ferrari revival, which eventually happened from 1996 to 2006 with the 2000-2004 season being the highlight of that story. Unfortunately, the driver instrumental in reviving Ferrari was a German. And, the team was Italian. We have the same scenario playing out now at Ferrari with another German driver (a protege of the same aforementioned German driver, no less, who already has 4 championships under his belt) and the same Italian team. Then you have a driver who won 1 championship on his first year at Ferrari, but was effectively beaten by a chap named Massa in the 2nd year. Massa then was effectively beaten by another driver that came to Ferrari, who incidentally beat the same driver being talked about that Massa beat. That same driver was then again beaten for 2 years by the present German driver, with 2017 looking like a repeat.

            Suddenly, the conclusion and analysis of the above facts for some is – Kimi is being held back and not allowed to race Seb. And, this comes on the backdrop of Seb having to muscle his way past Kimi in China after following him for 12 laps, while Ferrari’s imminent competitor, Mercedes, issued team orders verbally at least 2 times already in 2 races.

            The manner in which some people have chosen to exercise perspective on this whole matter suggests that they are deliberately being disingenuous.

      2. RP (@slotopen)
        23rd June 2017, 1:50

        They don’t need explicit team orders to make Rik support Vet. Drivers can’t possibly control strategy from the cockpit. They don’t have the data or the extra capacity to adjust strategy on the fly. They can trust their gut and the pre-race plan, but that is only so good.

        Like it or not, most of the time Rik is compromised for Vet he won’t even know until afterward. The “Seb is faster than you” moments are the exception, not the norm.

    4. Feel sorry for Kimi having to repeatedly answer the same banal questions and patiently giving the same answers (just leave him alone, he knows what he’s doing :D). Esteban also repeatedly asked the same questions, the reporters just digging at subtly different angles to try and unearth a sensationlist headline-grabbing soundbite. Alonso’s recent criticism of the questions are entirely justified. Having just watched the press conference, it is amazing how crap and lacklustre and uninsightful the questions are that are aimed at the drivers, even their delivery is dull, leading Crofty to say the drivers looked like they’d rather be anywhere but sat in front of those reporters.

      1. I have to agree. The press bang on about robotic drivers, but you can predict practically every question they will ask before the press conference starts.

        Knowing that Raikkonen (a) benefited from team orders at Ferrari in 2007, (b) submitted to team orders at Ferrari in 2008 and (c) he is generally sensible when it comes to these things, no one could be surprised by the answer he would give to a question on team orders.

        1. @geemac But this isn’t just about Raikkonen’s attitude, it’s about Ferrari’s policy. As mentioned above, in recent history they’ve imposed orders on a driver who was mathematically still in contention. What Raikkonen has said here indicates that won’t happen this time. So it’s a question worth asking.

          And in my view the blame for why drivers often give dull answers does not come down entirely on the side of the people asking the questions. There are good journalists and bad journalists; there are good interview subjects and bad interview subjects.

        2. It’s regrettable but true that plenty of journalists ask questions not to elicit truthful answers and to get information, but to establish a particular storyline. Not to obtain news, but to shape news or make news. This constant badgering of current Ferrari personal who were not even with Ferrari in 2010 has a distinct “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” vibe to it.

          Meanwhile Mercedes continues to regularly employ team orders, something you’d scarcely be aware of if you simply watched these press conferences.

      2. Feel sorry for Kimi having to repeatedly answer the same banal questions and patiently giving the same answers

        I don’t feel sorry for him at all. He’s got a championship winning car and he’s driving like a competitor who isn’t even interested in winning a WDC. I’ve seen #2 drivers put up more of a fight than he has…. I think he should be grilled about his status in the team.

    5. Any chance Nico could come back would love to see the comparison. Hamiltons by far quickest teammate(i don’t say the best). Vettel has drove on an other level this year but please give him some competition. He is always beating on older drivers give him some one around the same age…. Oh wait that happend…. Hamitlon would have loved Webber and Kimi in the Merc years for sure Schumi record would be in sight in wins and the poles would be in the late 70’s now

      1. I’m sure Vettel would have loved to have cars as dominant as Hamiltons Mercs. Had he done so I’m sure he would have won many more poles and races than he currently has.

        1. Touche!

        2. @Fireblade 2011.

          1. @noname – Mclaren won more races that year than 2010 when they were title contenders, so not really.

      2. @Dan So true.

    6. Richard (@)
      22nd June 2017, 17:34

      In F1 its dog eat dog in every way possible.
      Look at the Mercedes situation .They said that they are going to treat their drivers the same but, when it served their purposes to have Bottas block Vettel rather than run his own race they used Bottas to block Vettel so Hamilton could increase his lead and assure himself of a win.
      Its clear that no matter what Wolf says Bottas is a “#2 driver ” to Mercedes and they have his 1 year contract to hold out as a carrot to make sure he acts like he’s happy even with that role .
      KIMI , on the other hand ,is simply the coolest driver in F1 and possibly the most likeably driver that F1 has ever had so I ( and I am sure most fan) feel sorry for him while happy for him at the same time.
      We feel sorry because we all ( save for the misguided ) want to see Kimi free to do his best and anyone who has put down as many ” fastest laps” as Kimi has a truly impressive best but, we recognize that his team mate is a great driver in his prime and so it is unlikely that Kimi will pull close enough to Vettel’s point total to warrant free competition between the two .
      We feel happy for Kimi ,though, because we want to see him race every chance he has to race and especially this year as Ferrari has given him a better car and Kimi now has he means of avoiding the blocks, double moves and reckless endangerments of a certain other driver .
      Kimi is exceptional on many levels and represents the type of class that is too often missing in F1 .
      I for one want him back with Ferrari and if not then with another team but, not as an also ran.
      He has been so good for so long that he deserves a chance for at least a podium every time he suits up.
      I know it will never happen but, if Verstappen is so disappointed with what Red Bull has to offer then he should ask them to buy out his contract and get Kimi fitted for a seat .

      1. Kimi is not fast enough, I’m sorry to lay out the facts. And race fastest laps mean nothing at all other than you should have been maximising the tyres over a stint, not leaving life in them towards the end when the fuel has burnt off. Sure we like Kimi, but I also liked Kobayashi and look what happened to him… and he wasn’t miles behind his teammate for many many seasons running.

        I’m sorry if my words seem harsh, but the facts do not lie. Kimi has been trounced by Alonso and Vettel for many years.

        1. @Richard. So what you are saying is that Kimi is a likeable #2.

    7. Bwoah, Crofty will assert the RAI was under direct team orders to give this answer.

      1. What is this “Bwoah” i keep reading ?

    8. Martijn (@)
      22nd June 2017, 19:23

      Hahaha, politics. Be honest, we all know Ferrari is the king of team orders and clear nr2’s, which is exactly what RAI is

      1. Yes Ferrari are kings of team orders. That is why when they make them it’s clear that they have done so. If you have to ask whether or not Ferrari made them, they didn’t. So far this season they haven’t.

    9. Poor Kimi, he must have not gotten the memo as yet.

    10. Kimi mite as well start helping Vettel unfortunately. Vettel has gone to another level from Kimi and could do with his help from now on

    11. You don’t need to be Carol Vorderman to know Kimi has no chance
      For the older members of the forum substitute Carol with Johnny Ball

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