Kimi Raikkonen has tipped his friend Sebastian Vettel to pip F1’s class of 2011 to become world champion for the second time.
In 2007, former Ferrari driver Raikkonen came from a long way behind to beat the feuding McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso to the championship at the final race of the season.
Now as a F1 spectator and world rally driver, the Finn was asked by Turun Sanomat newspaper about German Vettel’s 85 point lead with just 8 races to go.
“Quite often the situation levels off by the end if someone has pulled out early in the season,” Raikkonen said.
“(But) Vettel probably doesn’t even have to win any more races in order to stay in front until the end.”
Raikkonen, meanwhile, will turn 32 in October but he is not yet making any plans for 2012 — nor ruling out a shock return to formula one.
“I don’t know,” he answered after a series of probing questions.
“Even if you ask the same thing a hundred different ways, the answer stays the same. If I don’t know then nobody else does either.”
Raikkonen, like his contemporary Jacques Villeneuve, admitted to being not so keen on the 2011 formula, including the DRS overtaking rear wing system.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with real overtaking,” he insisted. “All you do is move close and push a button and the guy in front can’t do anything about it.
“I guess they are trying to push it in the right direction, maybe it’s good for the TV, but for the drivers it’s not so good.”