BAKU (AFP) – Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa warned Kimi Raikkonen on Friday (June 23) that it is inevitable he will be ordered to support Sebastian Vettel’s title bid, adding the same could be expected of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes.
The Brazilian, who was beaten to the 2008 world title at the final corner of the final race in his native Sao Paulo, said his former team-mate Raikkonen faces “a tricky situation”.
Massa, now with Williams, said: “They will try everything they can to win after how many years. Ferrari has not been winning things since 2007, and 2008, the constructors’ championship – so they will try everything they can.
“And, unfortunately, if you see the difference in points, Kimi is not in the position... I mean, he needs to accept what things can happen – and it will happen.
“I think if Ferrari is doing the same, then clearly Mercedes have to do it, also, but it depends. If (Lewis) Hamilton is winning easy, then it is easy.
“But if he is not, then they will need to do so because otherwise they are just giving up points and maybe that can affect the outcome at the end.” Massa added that he recalled clearly how he and Raikkonen had supported each other in 2007 and 2008.
“I think I helped him a lot, in 2007, to get some good help. This is pretty clear.
“To be honest, what Kimi did for me in 2008, and what I did for him in 2007, I think was completely inside the sport.”
But Massa said Ferrari’s tactics at the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, when Rubens Barrichello was asked to gift victory to seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, crossed the line.
“Not good – this is not inside the sport,” he said of the infamous incident.