A follow up on the March news that Kimi is happy with his new engineer Dave Greenwood for 2015, his ex-engineer from McLaren and Lotus Mark Slade speaks on the subject:
“I don’t know Dave Greenwood,” he admitted, “but I think Kimi is happier when he’s working with an English race engineer.
“Kimi speaks good English so he likes to get his information in brief, genuine English. I am sure that the cooperation was not as smooth with someone for whom English is not his home language.
“I will always be a Kimi fan,” Slade added, “so of course I’m happy to see Kimi able now to drive a lot better than he could last year.”
| Source: GMM | auto123.com |
Raikkonen’s contract expires at the end of the year but he has an option to continue into 2016 based on his performance. Speculation about his future stepped up a gear over the weekend as he arrived in Bahrain with three consecutive defeats to team-mate Sebastian Vettel, but on Sunday he arguably gave his best performance since returning to Ferrari last year.
Arrivabene said he was not ready to offer Raikkonen the contract just yet, but would instead dangle it over his driver as motivation to deliver more results.
“I’m happy with the drivers that we have, but this does not mean that I am going to sign with Kimi tomorrow,” Arrivabene said. “We are very clear, I repeat again: I said to Kimi, ‘Look, it depends on your performance’ and he has demonstrated that he’s a great driver.
“So if you ask me now, does he deserve to renew the option, now today I am going to say yes. But if I am going to say yes, I don’t want the driver to fall asleep. So I want to keep him up.
“Kimi is giving the best when he is a bit in trouble. This is a psychological approach. So the [contract] paper at the moment is white. Sometimes I have to offer the pen [to sign], then I take it back. And Kimi is going to the podium.”
Asked whether Lewis Hamilton, who has yet to sign for Mercedes for next year, is being considered as a possible replacement, Arrivabene said: “Does Lewis Hamilton call you? Because he never calls me.
“Every driver here in the paddock wants to drive for Ferrari, this is normal. Even the guys who were quite a lot of time world champion.”
| Source: espn.co.uk |
Raikkonen, who last year hinted that 2015 might be his last season in Formula 1, is now committed to a longer term future with the team, and just has to wait for the Maranello outfit to take up its option.
Lewis Hamilton has been linked with Raikkonen’s Ferrari seat, but the Briton’s Mercerdes team has ruled out a move.
“Everybody’s positive,” his manager Steve Robertson told Motorsport.com. “Kimi wants to carry on and he’s made that very, very clear.
“The team is happy with his input and his consistency. It’s all positive talk, but there’s a difference between positive talk and pen to paper and all that sort of stuff.
“But at the end of the day it’s all heading in the right direction. He wants to be part of it, 100 per cent.”
Raikkonen has been upbeat since his first run in the SF15-T hinted at the potential of the package, and he works well with friend Sebastian Vettel.
Robertson agrees that the key is Raikkonen is having fun again.
“As soon as he had the first test he said, ‘The car’s a good car, there’s a lot more potential there, they took a big step in the chassis and a big step in the engine.
“He’s enjoying driving. At the end of the day for Kimi it’s very important that he enjoys it, he doesn’t need to be here for any other reason.
“He wants to be competitive, he wants to be challenging for races wins and championships, and now he’s in the position to do that.
“It’s a completely different team, it’s a completely different package. Everything is positive. Last year it was difficult to find something positive. He enjoys the car, it suits his driving style more, he’s in a team that’s on the upward trend. Everybody is pushing.
“Just look around at all the smiling faces, and Kimi’s one of those smiling faces.
“He loves F1 when it’s like this – of course he doesn’t love F1 when everything’s a shit fight and the car’s not good. He loves the environment like it is, and the package, and he can only see it getting stronger.”
| Source: motorsport.com |
Arrivabene on Kimi contract: Depends on performance
Maurizio Arrivabene has told Kimi Raikkonen he must perform if he is to stay at Ferrari next year.
Raikkonen is in the second season of a two year deal, but has a contract option to remain at Maranello for a third year in 2016. On Thursday Raikkonen said it was up to Ferrari to decide if it wants to keep him only for Arrivabene to respond on Friday saying Raikkonen must prove he is worthy of the drive.
“You want to know what I said to Kimi?” Arrivabene said. “He was telling me about the contract and I said to him, it depends on your performance. And Kimi, he’s the kind of person that he appreciates when you’re talking with him in a very transparent way and straight to his face.
“Kimi knows, now it’s early to talk about this at the moment. I’m happy about the performance of Kimi but he needs to push and he knows that.”
Meanwhile, Arrivabene is very happy with Sebastian Vettel in the other Ferrari.
“It’s the enthusiasm and the passion, like all the other guys. A driver that is so committed to Ferrari is making our job easy, I have to say. And on top, he’s said many, many times that since he was a kid, he was dreaming about Ferrari and he always liked it.
“Of course, last year it was impossible for him to say so, but now he’s liberated and he’s telling the truth. And then, as a driver, it’s very, very strong, very precise. Many, many journalists, they were asking about him and Michael.
“I said the things they have in common is the culture but then they are two different drivers with two different characters. But somehow, when you recognise that, there is something in common. I think this is based… this is a cultural base. It has nothing to do with the personality of the two.”
| Source: espn.co.uk |
Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene insists that Kimi Raikkonen can deliver this season, but the Finn has to feel that he has the full support of the team.
After being overshadowed by Fernando Alonso last year, Raikkonen has Sebastian Vettel as his new teammate, but the German has so far outqualified him in all three races.
Vettel has also scored three podiums, including a victory in Malaysia.
The Finn finished fourth in China after passing both Williams drivers on the first lap, and he was running close behind Vettel when the safety car emerged at the end of the race.
“They have different characters,” Arrivabene said of his drivers. “Seb is a kind of strong guy, very committed, etc.
“Kimi, he needs to feel the support of the team around him, and especially the team principal.
“In Malaysia I was talking with him after the practice, and he knows me, we’ve known each other for many, many years. I said, ‘Kimi, if you’re attacking for nothing, expect me to react.’
“But Kimi likes this kind of relationship, when you talk with him straight into the face. He’s called Iceman, but actually apart from this image of Iceman he’s a guy who is very sensitive.
“If he feels that the team is around him and is pushing for him as it’s pushing for Seb, then Kimi can give us very good results and perfect performances.
“The race in Malaysia, I mean we were jumping like kangaroos – even if it was Malaysia not Australia – for the victory, but actually if you look back and look at the race of Kimi it was wonderful.
“The new news in Ferrari is that we have a team now, and we have two drivers, two very good drivers.”
| Source: motorsport.com |
Arrivabene’s reaction to Kimi’s great start at the Chinese GP:
— Gianlu D’Alessandro (@Gianlu_DAle) April 12, 2015
Hugging an Ice-cream? Arrivabene consoling Kimi who was disappointed with his race after the Malaysian GP: