Kimi Raikkonen feels Max Verstappen has continued to find the limit in terms of acceptable driving standards but says the Dutch teenager is doing an impressive job for Red Bull.
The Ferrari driver has clashed with the 18-year-old on a number of occasions in 2016 most notably at the Belgian Grand Prix when the pair narrowly avoided a high speed crash with Verstappen moving lines while defending against the Finn.
During the closing stages of the Japanese Grand Prix Verstappen fended off a charging Lewis Hamilton with a robust block on the penultimate lap – which sparked post-race rumours of an appeal by Mercedes that proved to be false.
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Raikkonen refused to be called upon the incident from Japan and feels despite Verstappen being on the limit the decision remains with race stewards to take action.
“You can have two different opinions as one guy is happy and another one is not, depending on who comes out on top,” Raikkonen said. “I have nothing against him, he's a good driver and he's doing a good job, obviously certain things are a bit on the limit, but there are stewards in the races that will decide if it's good or not.
“These things will always balance out in the long run. Sometimes you end up fighting with the same driver many times in one year and then with another driver the next year, but I have nothing really to say about him.”
After a positive performance in Japan, Raikkonen remains upbeat Ferrari's gains are producing results but says the Italian squad still has a long way to go in the improvement process to catch Mercedes and Red Bull.
“We keep working all the time and in some races we've been stronger than in others,” he said. “We're doing things right, things are improving, but we still have a lot of work to do.
“But all the small things we're doing, all the little details we've brought, are paying off but it's a never-ending process. We keep making progress, and we were happy with our pace in Suzuka. But we'll only be 100 per cent happy when we'll be at the front.”
POINTS: The F1 drivers' standings ahead of the United States Grand Prix
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