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The 33-year-old Raikkonen’s Lotus future remains unclear. He has been linked with a move to Red Bull and also to Ferrari, but the Red Bull move appears over because Daniel Ricciardo is widely expected to step up from Toro Rosso and replace Webber.

“Ideally, you would like someone who is competitive, as competitive as you are, so that we’re pushing each other. You don’t have to be best friends with whoever is racing next to you,” said Vettel, who has had several high-profile spats with Webber over the years.

“You need to work for the team, I think that’s one of the most important bits,” Vettel added. “So that you work in the same direction and hopefully ensure that the car gets faster.”