Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari will fight till the very end to win the championship after a difficult start to the season.
Ferrari arrived in 2016 with a clear target of knocking Mercedes off its perch, having closed the gap to the German outfit last season.
However, the Maranello-based squad is yet to win a race, and trails Mercedes by 67 points in the constructors standings.
But Raikkonen is unwilling to concede defeat, saying his team is ‘working like hell’ to achieve the desired results.
“Let me tell you: we are in a fight and will fight until the last moment and try to win the championship,’’ Raikkonen told the official F1 website.
“So far there hasn’t been an ideal start of the year - we’ve both had DNFs and those circumstances don’t help in the standings - but be sure that we won’t give up. We are working like hell - and we will get the results,’’ he added.
Reliability issues have cost Ferrari dearly this season, with Raikkonen retiring from Melbourne and teammate Sebastian Vettel unable to start the Bahrain Grand Prix due to an engine blow out.
But the Finn is convinced that his squad has got on top of the problems that has plagued its early 2016 campaign.
“We had small issues that had cost us quite a few points - but no major troubles. The team has been very quick to fix these things and now we are happy on that side,’’ he said.
Raikkonen also feels that there is no added pressure from Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne, who has urged the team to get back to winning ways.
“A team like Ferrari traditionally has more pressure than any other team - that will never change,’’ he explained. “So everybody expects us to do well - that’s in the name. And we put ourselves under pressure, as nobody in the team is happy if we don’t win.”
“So in the end it does not matter if he (Marchionne) gives us pressure or somebody else. We know what we want to do and want to achieve.”
by Rachit Thukral