The German explained that he would welcome the Finn to the Milton Keynes based squad should he decide to make the move from Lotus. Raikkonen is the leading contender for the seat that was opened up last month with Mark Webber’s announcement of his retirement from F1.
Speaking to reporters over the German GP weekend, Vettel said: “I think the team has no pressure to decide on anything, at least, that’s what they communicated with me, I think I get along fairly well with Kimi; we never had a problem on track, even if one day we might crash into each other, which can happen, then I think we deal with it as grown-ups and talk about it and sort it out amongst ourselves, at least, I think that’s the relationship I have with him. I respect him a lot on and off track.”
Asked if he would be excited by the move, the triple world champion replied to say: “Yeah, definitely. I think it’s strange in a way because I was looking up to Kimi when he was with McLaren for many years and trying to give Michael [Schumacher] a very hard time but his McLaren broke down many times and now, since he’s come back.
“I’ve raced him again and I think there’s no doubt that when it comes to qualifying, to race, he does his job very well and gets the maximum out of the, and that’s what – at the end of the day – is our job. He’s quite good at what he does.”
However Raikkonen told reporters in the Nurburgring paddock that he is undecided on his future: “I don’t know what will happen in the future, things will be decided at some point but until that happens there’s nothing to talk about. I would definitely tell if I know something just so that all these follow-up rumours and nonsense stops straight away. But right now, there’s absolutely nothing for next year and we will see.”
The Finn said that he is not feeling pressure to make the decision and any announcement won’t be made until later in the year: “For sure, at some point, once we know we will tell but I don’t have any pressure to make any decision right now, obviously I try to make the right decision for myself but it depends on many things; next year there are rule changes, everything else, so it can be a right or wrong decision.
“Whatever it will be, I will live with it and I’m fine with it. We will see when it comes.”
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