Vettel backs struggling Raikkonen

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."

(GMM)

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