Jun.2 (GMM) Kimi Raikkonen is “basically” already the number 2 driver at Ferrari for 2017.
That is the view of the Finn’s countryman Mika Salo.
His comments follow Monaco, where a controversial pit strategy saw Raikkonen lose the lead and the subsequent race win to teammate and championship leader Sebastian Vettel.
“Vettel has a good chance of winning the world championship,” Salo said.
“He’s doing a very good job against Hamilton. Kimi is already quite a lot of points behind, so basically he’s the second driver in everyone’s eyes,” said the former F1 driver.
“Of course Kimi may not believe it until it is mathematically impossible to win the championship, but the team’s interest means Kimi is probably the second driver,” Salo added.
However, Salo said that de-facto number 2 status does not mean Raikkonen will be the subject of draconian ‘team orders’.
“That sort of thing cannot happen anymore, although it may be a bit worse than a pit strategy or something else.
“We haven’t seen it yet, but I bet we will if Vettel continues to lead and Kimi happens to be faster somewhere. There may be the need to change places,” he added.