Ferrari and FIAT Chrysler president Sergio Marchionne suggested that his team has the right driver line-up for the 2018 championship season, but both drivers have to find their peak performance.
Ferrari will start next year’s championship with the same driver line-up as in the last three seasons. Kimi Räikkönen will team up with Sebastian Vettel for the fourth consecutive time. The Italian team has been famous for its consistency in terms of driver line-up since 2000. The duos of Rubens Barrichello-Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa-Kimi Räikkönen, Felipe Massa-Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel-Kimi Räikkönen have been long-lasting pairings.
The current line-up of the Finnish and German driver has been working in great harmony, especially in 2017. The quadruple world champion came tantalizingly close to the world title while Kimi Räikkönen showed an upturn in his form and completed his best season of his second era at the Maranello-based squad.
However, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne insisted during Ferrari's traditional pre-Christmas media dinner the pair will be under great pressure in the coming season. Kimi Räikkönen has to show its peak performance which he has only done in some races in his second period at Ferrari. The Italo-Canadian said the pole position during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend was the highlight of the year for the 2007 champion and the level he has to aim at.
"My personal opinion is that if we find the right key, Raikkonen drives like a God. But we need to find it. When things go right, it's a pleasure see him driving.”
"In other moments it seems like he takes a break. He needs more consistency in terms of performance, but it's important to find the right key to make him driving like in Monaco also on other circuits. Probably this is the last season to find the right key and we must do it.”
The Chieti-born claimed that Ferrari might be ambitious with its next driver and pick up a young talent like reigning F2 champion Charles Leclerc.
"I think that if we can not find the right key for Raikkonen, the choice will fall on a young driver."
Marchionne also stressed the need of improvement for Sebastian Vettel who had a few moments of anger during his intense battle with Lewis Hamilton for the 2017 crown.
"I don't know if it's a problem of weakness or personality," he added. "I don't see weakness in his anger expressions. Vettel has something like a guy from the south of Italy. He showed that a couple of times this year, but he learned from these situations.