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Most talented Kimi remains strong within Ferrari – Vettel

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Sebastian Vettel has jumped to the defence of his teammate and friend Kimi Raikkonen.

Recently, amid speculation the Italian team might replace the Finn for 2018, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne made disparaging comments about Raikkonen’s performance.

“You can find so many nonsense stories in newspapers and on the web,” Raikkonen said in Russia. “I trust much more how my personal relationship is with the team or with him, and for me it’s all fine.”

Indeed, championship leader Vettel also suggested Raikkonen remains strong within the Ferrari team.

“In contrast to the outside, I see exactly what is happening and that things have just not gone his way so far,” the German is quoted by the Finnish broadcaster MTV.

“I don’t think anyone in the paddock doubts that he is one of the most talented drivers,” he said.

Indeed, just a year ago Raikkonen was often outshining Vettel at Ferrari.

“It is up and down, but in general as the season progresses, the situation stabilises,” Vettel continued.

“I don’t think Kimi has had the races yet that he deserves.”

Vettel & Kimi are not glad with a question of La Gazzetta dello Sport’s journalist, during the post-qualifying press conference.

Vettel stormed to pole position for the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday, Ferrari ending a run of 18 poles for Mercedes, Raikkonen will start alongside with his team-mate from front-row of Russian GP.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) To the two Ferrari drivers: the only negative – if you can say that it’s negative – point of this weekend is that you have to again change the turbocharger and it’s the third element. Do you believe that it will be an issue for the end of the season?

Kimi: You’re always very good to always find negative things about us.

Vettel: He’s Italian, he should be over the moon. Everybody in Italy I’m sure is very happy now and you’re the only Italian in the world that finds a reason to be negative. You should be ashamed.

Kimi: It’s a planned change and I’m sure we’ll be fine with it. Obviously I’ve had one failure that we will not be able to use but the others are still fine and we will run it as we want and they are there to be used and re-used whenever you feel like it.

Vettel: Maybe I think you will have a great chance to get a German passport because usually Germans always find a reason to complain. If there’s a hard time when you get back to Italy you’re welcome to Germany.

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