Kimi Raikkonen prepared to assist Sebastian Vettel's title challenge

Kimi Raikkonen says he is prepared to help Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel to this year's Formula One drivers' title once he is no longer in contention of winning it himself.

After seven rounds, Raikkonen trails Vettel by a sizeable 68 points and realistically is not in contention for this year's championship. Speaking in Thursday's drivers' press conference in Baku, Raikkonen confirmed he would have no issues in aiding Vettel's attempts to win a fifth drivers' crown and Ferrari's first since 2007.

"Nothing has changed and we know exactly when things goes either way," Raikkonen explained. "That's how it has always been and will be in the future. When it's clear I don't have the chance to fight for the championship I'll help Seb and I have no issues with that, as I did in the past. I think it's a very easy decision for everyone in the team.

"The first thing is to try to make sure we can be at the top with Ferrari, that's the most important thing and then if Seb can win and I cannot. The first thing is to work for Ferrari and try to get the best possible position all the time."

The Finn acknowledges Vettel has been driving well but believes a slow start to the season with "little problems" is the reason why he trails his teammate by such a big margin.

"I've had some bad races so far and obviously Seb has had good races so far and has been driving very well this year,'' Raikkonen added. "I didn't start the season too well, especially in the first few races. It wasn't bad races but not too good or where I wanted to be. Here and there I had some little problems, I have one DNF, and the last race was not ideal, but that's how it goes sometimes. And my team mate has had a very good start of the season, that's all."