Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Raikkonen: “Now is not the time” for team orders

2018 British Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari is prepared to use team orders but not until the appropriate stage in the championship fight.

Raikkonen finished directly in front of team mate Sebastian Vettel in last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix. Vettel leads the championship standings by one point while Raikkonen is 45 points off the lead.

This prompted questions why Ferrari didn’t swap the running order of its drivers to favour its strongest championship contender, as it has done in the past. However Raikkonen said now is too early in the championship to use team orders.

“We have, we always said, very clear rules and that’s what we go by since I always been in this team. We know what will happen when and if it comes to that, it’s pretty normal for us.

“It’s only from all of you that you [journalists] make big stories. At a certain point it’s always going to happen and that’s more than fair but right now is not the time yet.”

Raikkonen said last year he would only assist Vettel in the championship once he fell out of contention mathematically.

The 2007 world champion has failed to finish in two races this year. A botched pit stop which injured a mechanics ended his race in Bahrain and a power unit problem forced him out of the Spanish Grand Prix. Meanwhile Vettel has scored points in every race.

Raikkonen said the retirements were “part of the game, unfortunately.”

“Apart from that I think we’ve done a pretty solid job. [It] could be always better but the problem with those is more than it doesn’t give us any… we need to make sure that those things doesn’t happen again because you can’t just expect that everybody has days like that.

“Maybe 10 years ago it was more likely that every team, every car will stop the race at some point. But we’ve seen in the last years that it’s usually very unlikely. It happens sometimes but you can’t just count on this – ‘OK it happened to you, it will happen to somebody else’ – it doesn’t work like that any more.

“I think apart from that it’s not been too bad and we try to keep it up and do the best we can and hopefully keep scoring good points.”

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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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19 comments on “Raikkonen: “Now is not the time” for team orders”

  1. ”It’s only from all of you that you [journalists] make big stories.”
    – Kimi being savage towards the journos again, LOL.

  2. I was very surprised when I read that Vettel finished directly behind Raikkonen at Austria. It has definitely made me reassess my earlier opinion that Ferrari used Kimi as a doormat even earlier in this season. I haven’t changed my opinion (yet), but it makes me wonder if there’s more thought behind some decisions that I’m not aware of, that I just assumed was Ferrari being Ferrari doing Ferrari things (e.g. leaving Kimi out in China).

    1. @phylyp
      Leaving Kimi out longer in China was actually a good decision from Ferrari with hindsight. It gave Kimi fresher tyres and more pace in the second half of the race. He wouldn’t have passed Hamilton and ended up on the podium if he pitted the lap after Seb did.

  3. Ferrari did change for the better a bit under the Arrivabene administration.

  4. If a driver can’t win of his own volition, then it just a rigged result.

    If Seb can’t be faster than Kimi, then so be it.

    1. Well, VET is faster! Just look at the Quali sessions. Overall he’s faster in the races too, he finished behind in the last few races simply because he compromised his races on his own. To be honest, I fail to see RAI better performance than…. usual… or last year. Just in AUS, he started 3rd, ended 4th by the end of the 1st lap, although he had the best start from the front guys. VET was even worse at the start, from 5th he went to 8th, had a slower pit-stop, no FL… but he was faster in the race, more consistent lap times, in the end he managed to finish 2sec behind RAI.

    2. @canuckfan

      So Kimi’s 2007 championship was a rigged result?

  5. People talks a lot about Ferrari, but the last glaring ferrarish behavior regarding #2 driver was under the Alonso era. Since then, I fail to see what these conspirationists talk about.

    Raikonnen has a vast record of bad luck. Add to that his lack of interest in giving all he has, then we have his recent situation. To be fair, though, he is indeed in a good form right now. So let’s hope he keeps up the good work, and pinch some victories there and there.

    1. Pinch ONE victory, would be enough considering he doesn’t win since 5,5 years and I’m afraid it’s already hard enough, let alone multiple ones.

      So far we have 4 winners, it’s very likely bottas wins a race or more when he gets some decent luck, the only dubious one is raikkonen.

    2. Yeah this.. As far as team orders teams seem to be behaving just fine.

  6. A comparison between Kimi and Seb to date:

    Points: VET = 145 RAI = 101
    DNFs: VET = 0 RAI = 2
    Wins: VET = 3 RAI = 0
    Finishes so far:
    VET = 1 – 1 – 8 – 4 – 4 – 2 – 1 – 5 – 3
    RAI = 3 – DNF – 3 – 2 – DNF – 4 – 5 – 3 – 2

    So Kimi has a head to head advantage over Vettel 4-3 and although he is 45 points down in points to VET, the 2 DNFs would surely have made the deficit quite a bit smaller.

    The point I am trying to make is that Kimi is having a good year by anyone’s standards. Yes he has made mistakes but so has Seb and Seb’s have been much more costly. No he hasn’t scored any wins, but he is a solid rear gunner for VET which is what Ferrari wants.

    It will be interesting to see if LeClerq can handle the intense pressure he will be under and perform up to Kimi’s level and help Red win a WDC. But seeing how Red gets a $300 million “bonus” from the FIA each year for their presence, a WDC doesn’t mean as much to them.

    1. Good post. Kimi is driving well. The 2 DNFs hurt is points total.

    2. Good comparison, but if things would have been smooth for both of them in all races, the difference should have been even bigger. Simply because RAI did not DNF from top positions and his podiums are more down to luck than his performance. Funny, actually VET was about and should have finished ahead in all 4 races where RAI finished ahead. Even worse, VET could have won all of them. I’m talking about China, Baku, France and Austria. VET could have won all these races, but he threw his chances out of the window by himself or some others did it for him… but wasn’t RAI who actually beat him fair and square. Therefore, I don’t see RAI performance. VET could have been close to 200 points and, if so, RAI would have been under 90 points.

      1. And indeed, raikkonen winning the head to head is misleading, he was slower almost everywhere, only really looked better in australia and all things considered austria.

        1. It doesn’t matter whether a racer is faster or slower, it’s where he finishes.
          Case in point, Alonso, often finishes higher than competitors in faster cars.

      2. A lot of conjectures on your part – facts are facts. RAI is winning head to head.
        Don’t punish RAI because VET comes unglued or makes stupid mistakes on a fairly consistent basis.
        RAI is simply much more mature and even handed than VET.
        VET doesn’t seem to be mature enough to be a leader – pairing him and LeClerc is not a good idea.

        1. Agree. I was just responding to the claim that RAI is performing better and I tried to prove with facts he actually didn’t.

    3. It’s nowhere near 300 mil bonus for their presence, maybe 1\4 of that.

  7. Kimi is done and basically chopped meat – he has nothing left in the tank other than a few flashes of what his overrated self was once. We know he is No.2, he knows he is No.2, Ferrari knows he is No.2, so why make the fans out to be idiots?

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