Sebastian Vettel believes the battle with his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen is not as “one-sided as you might think”, adding the Finn’s recent Formula 1 form is distorted.  

Vettel is just four points behind world championship leader Lewis Hamilton heading into this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix after winning two of the opening four rounds of the 2018 campaign, with Kimi Raikkonen a further 18 points back in third.

Raikkonen has enjoyed a strong start to the new campaign, helping Ferrari into an early constructors’ lead over chief rivals Mercedes. He has at times out-performed Vettel in 2018 and regularly been the faster Ferrari driver on a Friday, though he remains in search of his first Scuderia win since 2008. 

Vettel, who has racked up 10 wins alone since switching from Red Bull to Ferrari ahead of the 2015 season, feels Raikkonen has been unfortunate not to get the results his performances have warranted. 

"I think one thing is always to look at the result and the other is if you look a little bit deeper,” the German said. "It's been incredibly close this year so far. To be honest, most of the Fridays I think he had the upper hand so far.

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"Here and there I was struggling to understand the car and feel the car. Knowing him, knowing his strength, he's incredibly talented and able to drive around problems.

"If you look at the previous years the image is a bit distorting. It wasn't as one-sided as you might think if you look at the results."

Raikkonen led Ferrari’s initial charge in Australia’s season-opener and could have won but for an ill-timed Virtual Safety Car at mid-distance which enabled Vettel to claim victory. 

The Finn was also on course for a podium in Bahrain until the botched pitstop which broke the leg of a Ferrari mechanic and forced Raikkonen into retirement, as Vettel racked-up back-to-back wins.

He finished third in China following a late Safety Car period and recorded his best result of the season with second place in Baku despite being involved in a first-lap incident during a crazy race.

“The end result matters. The rest doesn't really count,” Raikkonen replied when asked for his views on Vettel’s comments. 

“The people that we work with know what's happening and what's not. I don't really care if people think you are slow. I know what we are doing.”

“I don't count on luck," he added. "You get what you deserve in a way. I'm more happy that I have the speed. That's the main thing. We just need to put it together and I'm sure that we can do even better."

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