1982 world champion Keke Rosberg has dismissed as “stupid” suggestions that Kimi Raikkonen might struggle to shine as Michael Schumacher’s successor at Ferrari in 2007.
“He’ll be brilliantly fast,” the fellow Finn, whose German son Nico Rosberg races for Williams, told the British magazine Autosport.
He added: “It’s almost stupid to ask the question.”
Questions have been raised about 27-year-old Raikkonen’s work ethic, technical skills, and ability to motivate his crew and handle the notorious Italian media, in contrast to German Schumacher who was renowned in all those areas.
Even Jean Todt, whose team has also lost Ross Brawn’s technical directorship, admitted this week that Raikkonen is a “question mark” for Ferrari, although the team chief also said he hoped the Finn would steer a red car for “many years”.
58-year-old Rosberg, however, says the only thing that matters is speed.
Referring to Kimi, he continued: “I believe he’s the fastest driver in the paddock and that’s all Ferrari needs from him.
“The team can hold itself together if they have a fast driver in the car.”