Saturday 15 April at 10:35 :
Apr.15 (GMM) A former F1 driver has defended Kimi Raikkonen, following criticism from Ferrari's bosses in China.
After a lacklustre race for the Finn in Shanghai, team president and boss Sergio Marchionne and Maurizio Arrivabene respectively hit out at Raikkonen, saying they would speak with him.
Asked if that conversation took place, Raikkonen gave a terse "no" in Bahrain.
But former F1 driver turned pundit Marc Surer thinks Ferrari's criticism was unjustified.
"I don't think it's fair that they do that to him," the Swiss told the German broadcaster Sky.
"We heard what his problems were -- that his engine did not deliver the right power. And he complained about missing grip in the front, which I see as a setup issue that the team has to solve," Surer added.
"If you criticise a driver, first you should check if everything was working technically."
More generally, Ferrari is impressing with its pace in 2017, but some ill-feeling towards the great Italian team has been caused by its self-imposed 'media blackout' this year.
Luigi Perna, a top journalist for the authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport, slammed Ferrari for not giving the media much access to the team so far in 2017.
"After a winter of silence, there was tremendous media and Tifosi interest in Ferrari, but this was met with silence too," he said in Bahrain.
"It is understandable that president Marchionne wanted quiet after his statements of a year ago, but this is too much."