GOOD TIMES TO COME: Then Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen (left) chats with Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel during a media conference in 2012. The duo says they're going to be good Ferrari team mates in 2015. Image: AFP
ABU DHABI, UAE - Kimi Raikkonen sees fun times ahead now that Ferrari has ended months of waiting and confirmed that Sebastian Vettel will replace Fernando Alonso at the Formula 1 team for the 2015 season.
Where Alonso and Raikkonen were seen as a fire-and-ice pairing of champions - "two roosters in one hen house" as former chairman Luca di Montezemolo put it - the team's 2015 line-up of champions promises to be easier.
The Finn and German get on well, each with a dry sense of humour and an uncomplicated approach to racing.
Raikkonen, who won his title for Ferrari in 2007, Vettel's F1 debut year, said: "I haven't worked with him in the same team but I know him best of any of the guys. Our relationship has been always been very straightforward and I don't expect any changes... we try to beat each other all the time but we can have fun and get things done in a good way."
Vettel, a four-times with Red Bull and looking forward to following the footsteps of boyhood hero Michael Schumacher when he starts with Ferrari, echoed Raikkonen's words: "Kimi (Raikkonen) is probably the least-complicated driver on the grid. When we talk about Kimi's skills I don't think there is a person in the paddock who doubts them, including me, but from a personal point of view he's very straightforward.
"I don't expect any complications because I think we have a good relationship... we have great respect for each other which I think is always very healthy in the sort of situations coming up."
Neither Vettel nor Raikkonen has won a race through 2014 and both are behind their team mates in the championship, while Ferrari is going through considerable upheaval as it seeks to return to winning ways. Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP finale this weekend.