The Italian press has gone on the offensive against Ferrari, slamming the Scuderia for treating Kimi Raikkonen as a blatant number two driver.
For veteran journalist Pino Allievi from La Gazzetta dello Sport, Raikkonen, who is performing better this year behind the wheel of the team's new SF71-H, is a mere pawn in Ferrari's game to protect and favour Sebastian Vettel
"With the pitstop, Ferrari 'used' Raikkonen to slow down Bottas and promote Vettel," he wrote, referring to the Sucderia's Chinese Grand Prix flagrant race strategy and tactics.
"For years we've criticised Raikkonen, but at the beginning of 2018, he is showing a different spirit and making us remember the champion. Ferrari should have noticed this too," Allievi wrote.
"Instead, Kimi is penalised through strategy and considered by the team as a mere support for Vettel.
"It's a mistake that can only affect the morale and the performance of the driver," he concluded.
Allievi's distinguished colleague Andrea Cremonesi warns the inner-team antics could soon adversely impact the Scuderia's balance.
"With Raikkonen treated as such, I wonder how long the Ferrari team can remain in harmony."
The Finn himself, while not looking particularly ecstatic on the podium last Sunday, is unsurprisingly mum on the subject.
"I don't know," he said when asked about his race strategy. "I think the race was ok."