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Raikkonen: Vettel 'the nicest guy' in F1

Former F1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen has sprung to the defence of Red Bull Racing star Sebastian Vettel - arguing that the under-fire German can still claim the 2010 title and moreover is 'the nicest guy' on the grand prix grid...
He may not be receiving much praise from his fellow F1 drivers just now, but under-fire Red Bull Racing star Sebastian Vettel has been labelled 'the nicest guy' on the grand prix grid by former world champion-turned-World Rally Championship convert Kimi Raikkonen.

Vettel has been slated by McLaren-Mercedes team principal Martin Whitmarsh for his 'habit of colliding with other drivers' and his 'junior formulae' error that removed Jenson Button from contention and quite possibly also from the title reckoning in last weekend's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps [see separate story – click here], with the defending F1 World Champion himself arguing that his young German rival 'has made too many mistakes this year to fight for the world championship' [see separate story – click here].

However, Raikkonen – who only a matter of months ago was linked with partnering Vettel at Red Bull in 2011 – begs to differ, insisting that the 23-year-old can still claim the coveted crown in F1 2010 and revealing that the Heppenheim native is to all intents and purposes the only driver from his erstwhile world with whom he still remains in touch.

“I have hardly any contact with the other drivers,” the 30-year-old Finn told spox.com. “Sometimes I play badminton with Vettel – he's the nicest guy of them all.”

Whilst he has hinted on several occasions recently that F1 is now a closed book for him rather than the sabbatical that he had originally anticipated – reasoning that he 'loves' his new career in rallying with the Citroën Junior Team as it is 'very, very exciting and the biggest challenge of my career', and having taken his maiden stage victory on Rallye Deutschland just over a week ago – Raikkonen has since enigmatically persisted with his 'never-say-never' stance regarding an eventual return one day.

“In F1, there are too many things that are more important than the race” lamented the 18-time grand prix-winner. “It is too political and no-one says what they think because they're afraid about being taken out-of-context. I wouldn't say [I won't return, though]. First, let's take this season right to the end and then clarify some things. Then we'll see...”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Citroen C4 WRC, Citroen Junior Team
Friday Practice 1, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Saturday, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 is celebrating his Pole Position
Saturday, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6 is celebrating his Pole Position
Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Friday Practice 1, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Caterham F1 Team CT05
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
19.04.2014- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10

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