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F1 Italian GP: Raikkonen using ‘small details’ to close gap to Vettel

Kimi Raikkonen says there is no single area he has improved in comparison to Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel with the pair appearing on an even kilter in 2016.
Kimi Raikkonen says there is no single area but 'small details' has improved in comparison to Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel with the pair appearing on an even kilter in 2016.

In the inter-team Ferrari battle Vettel comfortably outscored Raikkonen last year - taking three wins and ten further podiums to the Finn's three rostrums – but over the opening 12 races of this year the pair are closely matched on results.

Despite Vettel's six podiums against Raikkonen's four the pair are separated by just seven points with the Finn having led his team-mate for a large chunk of the season.

With Raikkonen being retained by Ferrari for 2017 both drivers feel they have a strong working partnership as they look to improve upon current results which have failed to hit Sergio Marchionne's targets.

Asked about his own performances compared to Vettel, Raikkonen is pleased to have found gains and says it is down to progressive work over a lot of areas.

“It's a lot of small things,” Raikkonen said. “The car has to be good for making good lap times, I work with a great group of people but there are so many small things involved that even if a very small thing is not correct the lap time or the race distance is not there.

“I think we learned a lot from difficult things in the past few years and this year has been more as it should be.”

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Despite improvements, Raikkonen, who is yet to win a race since returning to Ferrari in 2014, is determined to continue his current upward trend to see the Italian manufacturer close the gap to Mercedes.

“The driving has been pretty OK but I still feel we can improve more in all the details,” he said. “There's a lot of details to work on to be more comfortable and know what the car will do, so we can push more, but there's no one thing you can say you can change and that will turn things around or pull yourself around. It's a lot of small details.”

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27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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