Kimi Raikkonen dismissed suggestions he is being treated as a ‘number two’ driver by Ferrari following the strategy he was given in the Chinese Grand Prix.

Raikkonen fell from fourth to sixth place in the race after being left out longer than his rivals before his first pit stop. Keeping him out meant Ferrari were able to use him to help Sebastian Vettel catch race leader Valtteri Bottas.

However Raikkonen said the team’s strategy shouldn’t be criticised in retrospect.

“It’s always easy to say after the race what we should have done once you know,” he said.

“The end result you can easily say this should have been there and this there. During the race you try to do the best you can and sometimes it’s OK sometimes not but it’s just a normal case in any race conditions.

“As far as I know I have 100% same chance as everybody else and we’ll try to make the best out of it.”

Raikkonen did admit his strategy could have been better. “I guess there’s always opinions on anything but third is what we got. Could we have got more? Probably yes. Could we have got less? For sure. This is what we got so we go forward.”

Although he has qualified on the front row for all of the races so far this year Raikkonen doesn’t believe this is because he is driving better.

“I’ve been happy with my driving most of the time,” he said. “I haven’t changed really, the results have been better.”

“Obviously [they’re] far from ideal still, we’ve had one DNF already. That’s unfortunate, apart from that it’s pretty OK.”

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2018 F1 season

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