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2017 F1

Ferrari openly criticises Raikkonen after Chinese GP

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Ferrari has openly criticised Kimi Raikkonen after Sunday’s Chinese grand prix.

The Italian marque was not alone.

The influential sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport said after Shanghai that the difference between Raikkonen and his teammate Sebastian Vettel was the latter’s overtakes.

“Kimi never even tried,” it noted.

But the criticism went all the way to the top, with Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne present in Shanghai to observe the fabled team in action.

“Raikkonen was lacking something? Yes, today he seemed to have other commitments, he was busy doing something else, or maybe he was tired,” he told the Italian broadcaster Sky.

“Vettel was much more aggressive.”

And Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene pointed out that Raikkonen did plenty of public complaining about the car over the radio.

“Today Kimi was talking, but I think when you talk a lot you are driving less,” he said.

President Marchionne continued: “I will talk to Arrivabene, as maybe it is time for him to sit down with him (Raikkonen) and tell him something clear.”

More generally, however, the Italian-Canadian said he is happy with Ferrari’s progress so far, with Vettel jointly leading the world championship.

“Can Ferrari fight on par with Mercedes? We already do,” said Marchionne.

In the constructors’ championship, however, Ferrari is a point behind Mercedes, even though the Italian team has two world champions in the cockpits.

So team boss Arrivabene hinted the time might come when Raikkonen is slotted into a clear supporting role for Vettel.

“The championship has just started, so there’s no rush and time will tell.

“But if we find ourselves in a situation where Ferrari is fighting for victory in the championship, then our drivers are well aware of the rules of the game,” he said.

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