Vettel says Raikkonen friendship can survive F1 battle

Sebastian Vettel insists he is not worried his friendship with Kimi Raikkonen will suffer as they go wheel-to-wheel for the title in 2013.

The pair are arguably the closest friends among all the drivers in the pitlane, living close to one another in Switzerland and often meeting up to play badminton.

But they have never fought against each other for F1's biggest prize -- Raikkonen departed F1 at the end of 2009, just as Vettel began his series of titles in 2010.

So will the heat of a championship battle in 2013, with Raikkonen already leading Vettel in the world championship, spoil their friendship?

"I think you have to separate the two things," German Vettel told Bild newspaper.

"Anyway, we get along very well, but it's not like we spend every spare minute in the paddock together," he added.

Bild correspondent Frank Schneider wrote: "Raikkonen and Vettel are completely different.

"Raikkonen is tattooed, smokes, drinks, while Vettel lives a disciplined life free of scandal."

(GMM)

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