Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari’s rules over its Formula 1 team orders policy is “clear" and "fair”, adding it is too early in the season for such tactics to be considered. 

Raikkonen finished second and ahead of Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel in the Austrian Grand Prix, while chief rivals Mercedes suffered a rare double retirement with erstwhile points leader Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. 

The result propelled Vettel into a one-point lead over Hamilton in the drivers’ world championship, leading to suggestions Ferrari could have ordered Raikkonen to move aside for his teammate in a bid to further strengthen his title bid, something Vettel denied he expected.

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Raikkonen insisted he was not surprised Ferrari had allowed him to retain second place in Austria when posed the question by reporters at Silverstone ahead of this weekend’s British Grand Prix.  

“We’ve always said that we have very clear rules and that’s what we go by since I’ve been in this team,” Raikkonen explained. “We know what will happen and when, and if it comes to that then it’s very normal for us. 

“It’s only from all you have that you make a big story out of this. At a certain point it’s always going to happen and that’s more than fair. but right now it’s not the time yet.

Raikkonen himself has moved to within 45 points of Vettel in the standings, joining his teammate and Hamilton as the only three drivers to take their points tallies into triple figures.

When asked if he feels like he is a contender in this year’s title race, the Finn replied: "For sure it’s better than a few races ago! Obviously they had two non- finishes, that’s definitively helping me and also helping the team. but that’s part of the game, unfortunately. 

“Apart from that I think we’ve been doing a pretty solid job but it could always be better. We need to make sure those things don’t happens again because you cannot just expect that everybody else has days like that. 

“Maybe ten years ago it was more likely that every team, every car, would stop at some point in a race but we’ve seen in the last few years that’s very unlikely that it will happen. 

“Apart from that it hasn’t been too bad and we try to keep it up and do the best we can and, hopefully, keep scoring good points.”

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