SAO PAULO (AFP) – Kimi Raikkonen congratulated Lewis Hamilton on his fifth world title but warned him that Ferrari goes out to stop Mercedes completing a Formula One championship doubles this weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix.
The Sauber-bound Finn acknowledged that Ferrari is not in a strong position – they trace Mercedes with 55 points in the constructors' position with two races to go – but stated they will not give up.
"We're obviously not in a good position, but we're still in it and we'll do our best … We're trying to win," he told reporters.
Raikkonen, who famously won the driver's title for Ferrari in Brazil in 2007, said that Hamilton deserved to win the crown of the year and rejected the idea that his Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel had lost it by team and individual errors.
"Surely he did," he said.
"The one who has the most points has won it. In the end, if you ask 10 people, they all have different views on how it has been won or lost.
"It does not matter … He won it. Fair play and congratulations to him."
He added that it was more important for the team to succeed in the championship championship.
"There is a driver championship, but if you go to any team they will probably say that this is more important to them – the championship championships more than the drivers.
"That's what we're trying to do … and we'll see about two races."
VETTEL BULLISH ABOUT THE FUTURE
Vettel acknowledged that he was disappointed that Hamilton had passed this year's driver's title in Mexico with two races left, but said he was still motivated for the future, including this weekend.
"Of course, the last race was hard to swallow and probably winter will be as good," said the four-time world champion.
"But giving up is not an option …
"Three times now I've been in such a position 2017, 2009 and this year. For me, probably," was the worst – and my lowest point.
"You never know what next year gives you so you never know if you get a chance. I've worked very hard for it and I'm convinced it's going to come, but in the end I do not know.
"You can not predict. None of these times was nice."
Looking back this year, where his title challenge faded in the second half of the season, he said: "There are many things that happened this year and we come as a group and as an individual to learn from it and take it forward and raise the bar next year.
"Obviously, something went wrong and we had to learn it. Something went wrong and we did not go and developed in the right direction …
"It was clear that we missed something and not because something was aware by default, which was wrong. So it's up to us to find a solution to it and make sure it does not happen again, but it's not easy to find and fix it like that sound.
"I still have a mission here and I still want to win. It has not changed."