Detailing a meeting with journalists this week, Ferrari officially quoted the Finnish driver as saying it will be “very difficult” to beat Mercedes this year, “but you never know”.
Raikkonen, in fact, was on a sponsor visit to Norway, and what he told the major Aftenposten newspaper was slightly less optimistic.
When asked about the 2014 title, the 34-year-old answered: “It seems to be over. The Mercedes cars are too fast.
“We (Ferrari) want to be ahead, but my challenge on the championship seems to be over for the season,” added Raikkonen.
He declined to talk about the high-profile spat between Mercedes’ duelling title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
“I’m not interested in that,” said Raikkonen. “I’m only interested in our own success and getting back to the top.”
But he did comment on the new direction F1 has moved in, having switched from loud V8 engines to turbo and hybrid-powered V6s.
“From the driver’s point of view, we want better grip and faster cars,” said Raikkonen. “More horse power.
“Increasing the speed is difficult, but I think it would make the races more interesting and exciting.
“But we don’t make up the rules ourselves, so we need to do the best we can with these cars,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Ferrari website quoted Raikkonen as saying that although he would “like” to do some more rallying, “for now I’m completely focused on formula one”.
Speaking to reporters in Monaco last weekend, he had said: “The problem is obviously people are more scared that you get hurt so they try to limit everything that you do.
“It’s a shame because I think it would be more fun for everybody and all sports would also benefit from it, and F1.” (GMM)