Ferrari made the unusual step of confirming their driver lineup for 2016 before the resumption of racing after the summer break. In mid August, Kimi Raikkonen was given the vote of confidence and retains his F1 seat with the Scuderia next year.
At that time, Sebastian Vettel had scored 160 points to the Finn’s 76, which was a far better relative performance by Kimi when compared to his 1-3 points ratio against Fernando Alonso in 2014. Alonso fans will argue this statistic demonstrates the Spaniard is a better driver than the four times German champion.
Despite his relative improvement his team mate this year, Kimi’s driving in 2015 has regularly looked anything but that of an ex-F1 driver world champion. His bansai move on the last lap of the Russian GP, which took out third place Valtteri Bottas, was for many akin to that of a rookie driver.
Contrast that decision with his team-mate, who had hunted down Nico Rosberg down over the closing laps in Austin, though Vettel realized when he caught the German it was not going to be possible to pass him even though he had tyres 5 laps newer than Rosberg.
Kimi defended his move on Bottas at the Austin press conference refusing to accept it was anything other than a racing incident, then in the US GP the ’iceman’ makes another rookie error by pushing too his cold slick tyres too hard on a damp but drying track.The result was a date with the wall, which in effect finished Kimi’s race.
The team mate statistics for 2015 in Ferrari are stark. Sebastian has 3 race wins to Kimi’s none. The German has out qualified his team mate 12-3 and on average his qualifying lap is 0.456 seconds faster than the Finn.
Of the 12 races where both Ferrari’s have finished, Vettel has been ahead of Kimi 9-3 and in terms of number of laps ahead, Sebastian has racked up 621 whilst Raikkonen has lead his team mate for just 170 laps.
It’s over to you the jury to present additional evidence in the comments either in support of Raikkonen’s claim for a 2016 seat with Ferrari, or otherwise.