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Vettel's relationship with Ferrari not as bad as is being made out - Raikkonen

10/07/20

Ferrari opted not to extend four-time champion Vettel's contract.

Sebastian Vettel endured a dismal start to the 2020 Formula 1® season, but Kimi Raikkonen does not believe the German's relationship with Ferrari is as bad as has been suggested.

Ferrari opted not to extend four-time champion Vettel's contract beyond the end of this year, hiring Carlos Sainz to be Charles Leclerc's team-mate for the 2021 campaign.

Vettel was unable to get out of Q2 at the Austrian Grand Prix and finished 10th in the race after making contact with Sainz, when the McLaren driver was trying to get past Leclerc, and spinning out.

F1®'s motorsports director Ross Brawn claimed it was clear Vettel had been negatively affected by being phased out by Ferrari, but Raikkonen does not believe that is the case.

"Honestly, I spoke to him last weekend, quickly when we saw each other, I think it was before the start, and that's all that I know," said Raikkonen ahead of this weekend's Styrian Grand Prix, which will also take place at the Red Bull Ring.

"I don't know what is going on there, it's none of my business. I think it's unfair to comment if someone is treated badly or not, because I don't know what is going on.

"I doubt that they have as bad relationship as people are making out.

"Obviously sometimes it goes this way, that you leave the team, or choose to leave, whichever way it is. We'll see what happens in his future. You need to ask from him.

"I wouldn't put too much saying how difficult it is right now after one race. It wasn't the most easy for [Alfa Romeo] either. I'm sure they can be much stronger than they were last weekend."

Ferrari announced former champion Raikkonen would make way for Leclerc with seven races left in the 2018 season.

Asked if his relationship with the team changed after that point, Raikkonen said: "No, absolutely not."

And Raikkonen, now driving for Alfa Romeo, feels the same will apply in the current Ferrari set-up, adding: "I'm certain that they get exactly the same treatment, both of them. It's in their benefit to try to get the best result on both cars, so I don't see why they would do anything else."