ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Kimi Raikkonen saw fun times ahead after Ferrari ended months of waiting and confirmed that Sebastian Vettel would replace Fernando Alonso at the Formula One team next season.
Where Alonso and Raikkonen were seen as a fire and ice pairing of champions, ‘two roosters in one henhouse’ as former chairman Luca Di Montezemolo put it, the team’s 2015 lineup of champions promises to be easier.
The Finn and German get on well, both sharing a dry sense of humour and uncomplicated approach to racing.
“Obviously I haven’t worked with him before in the same team but I know him best out of any of the guys,” said Raikkonen, who won his title with Ferrari in the same 2007 season that saw Vettel’s F1 debut.
“Our relationship has been always been very straightforward and I don’t expect any changes...we try to beat each other all the time, but we can have fun and get things done in a good way,” he added.
Vettel, a quadruple champion with Red Bull who looked forward to following in the footsteps of boyhood hero Michael Schumacher when he starts at Maranello, echoed Raikkonen’s words.
“Kimi is probably the least complicated driver on the grid,” he said.
”When we talk about the skills Kimi has, I don’t think there is a single person in the paddock who doubts his skills, including myself, but from a personal point of view, very straightforward.
“I don’t expect any complications because I think we have a good relationship...we have great respect for each other which I think is always very healthy to deal with in these sorts of situations coming up.”
Neither Vettel nor Raikkonen has won a race this season, both lagging their team mates in the championship, while Ferrari are going through considerable upheaval as they seek to return to winning ways.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer