The Hungarian Grand Prix may have given Sebastian Vettel a preview of what life with Kimi Raikkonen as a team-mate at Red Bull next year might be like, but after nearly clashing on the track on the 68th lap in their battle for second place, he played down the tension between them.
Vettel was struggling to pass Raikkonen’s Lotus in the closing stages despite running much fresher tyres, and the Finn frustrated his best chance by resolutely shutting the door in Turn Four and leaving Vettel to make his own arrangements.
“He didn’t give me any room,” Vettel screamed angrily into his radio. But afterwards he was a little sheepish.
“I just mentioned that he didn’t leave me any space but he was laughing about it,” he said. “It was fine. Kimi’s not an idiot, but in the heat of the moment it was quite tight and I nearly lost the car, but that’s racing. You feel you have to say something, so that’s what I said. I tried and it didn’t work, but I should have done a better job with Jenson [Button] earlier on and not damaged my front wing, then it could have been a different race.”
Such incidents mean nothing to the ice-man Raikkonen, who merely smirked. “I have nothing yet for next year, so it doesn’t matter what happens on the race circuit,” he said. “I knew my tyres were OK and that the car was good in the last sector, so there was no chance for him to pass there. But Turn Two to Four was tricky for me all race. He tried there once, and then the second time I defended. It was a bit tight but I kept him behind, and that was the only time he had a good run on me. It’s very difficult to overtake here, so after that I had no issues.”
Vettel suggested again that he would have no problem if the pair should join forces at Red Bull in 2014. “Kimi is very honest, which I appreciate, and one of the guys I get along with best.” But his expression indicated that he didn’t appreciate the question.