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 |