Raikkonen confirms he’ll help out Vettel when he can

Formula One Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen admits that he’ll do his best to help his teammate if he can. Has Kimi lost his drive?

It’s a grim fact of reality that nothing lasts forever. Youth, beauty, prowess, skill – all of these things begin to degenerate with time. As sad as that realization is, it’s still an integral part of the generational cycle. The older and more experienced pass on their knowledge to the younger and greener. But then there can be situations where older drivers yield to younger ones. Situations in which this might bolster their teammates position when they can and become the team’s #2. A situation like the one Kimi Raikkonen is in right now.

Kimi has developed a bit of a second-star status in recent years, and rightly so. While the Finn has turned in some fantastically powerful lap times – and even come incredibly close to victory at Monaco – there’s a growing sentiment that he’s more than happy to stand aside for Sebastian Vettel to shoot to the top. That sentiment is then further split into the camps of “he’s a team player” and “he’s lost his mojo and is just there to make Vettel look good”. Now, that would be an easy allegation to dismiss – were it not for the fact that Kimi has practically admitted to being okay with making sure Seb wins:

“When it’s clear I don’t have the chance to fight for the championship I’ll help Seb and I have no issues with that, as I did in the past. I think it’s a very easy decision for everyone in the team.

The first thing is to try to make sure we can be at the top with Ferrari, that’s the most important thing and then if Seb can win and I cannot.”

– Kimi Raikkonen

Perhaps to judge Kimi as “out for the count” would be a gross misstep. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that the Finn’s icy demeanour has been mistaken for disinterest. And yet there still lies something churning behind the scenes that we are not privy to. Ferrari has come out publicly after the Monaco Grand Prix to say that they don’t’ uphold team orders – yet Kimi’s words really do lend a weight to the notion.

At this point in the championship though, there’s little illusion that Seb isn’t the favoured Ferrari driver. He’s driven the best races, scored the most points, and has the highest chance of dethroning the Mercedes crew in what has been a far too long of a time. That being said, does Kimi have the potential to be anything other than second-best to Vettel for the remainder in the season? It’s tough to say. Perhaps, all we can really hope for out of Kimi is that we see him up on the podium several more times before winter creeps in.

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