Italian-Canadian Sergio Marchionne, Ferrari chairman and CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is happy with the Scuderia’s overall performance this season, after a winless 2016 campaign, although he adds that there is still room for improvement given the fact that Mercedes remains the fastest car on the track:
“It is not perfect, I think we still left a lot of potential gains on the track. But we can make that difference up. I still think that for the moment Mercedes has a slight edge over us.” – Sergio Marchionne said on Sunday, ahead of the 2017 Austrian Grand Prix, as reported by the Italian media – “I am happy with what Sebastian is doing, just in case anybody is wondering.” – the Ferrari CEO continued.
Sergio Marchionne also wants Kimi Raikkonen to raise his game, as contract negotiations for the 2018 Formula One season should begin in the second part of the championship. However, the Finnish driver has yet to win a race this season while team mate Sebastian Vettel has put three wins under his belt and is currently leading the Formula 1 Driver Standings ahead of his main title rival Lewis Hamilton. The Ferrari CEO, who typically drives a hard bargain, believes that the 2007 F1 world champion’s performances this year are falling short of expectations: “I think Kimi has got to show a higher level of commitment to the process” – the Canadian-Italian manager told reporters at the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday – “There are days when I think he has a bit of a laggard, but we will see. I am going to talk to him today, we’ll see what happens.” – Sergio Marchionne concluded.
Kimi Raikkonen responded to the remarks after the race which was held at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, saying that he is doing the best he can in a far from straightforward season, and that he is working hard to improve in the second half of the championship: “Obviously I want to do well.” – Kimi Raikkonen said, as reported by Reuters – “I can only do the best that I can. It’s not like I’m not trying. Unfortunately, it has not been very straightforward sometimes but that’s part of Formula One. We keep pushing and I’m sure things will get better.” – Kimi Raikkonen explained, as the Finn finished the 2017 Austrian Grand Prix in fifth place.