Marchionne 'never doubted' Räikkönen's ability
19 December 2017 – Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne says he "never doubted" Kimi Räikkönen's ability in Formula 1, and expects Sebastian Vettel to adopt a calmer stance in 2018.
Räikkönen returned to Ferrari in 2014 but has yet to climb atop the podium and finished over 100 points behind team-mate Vettel in the 2017 standings, the German having taken five wins.
Marchionne labelled Räikkönen "a laggard" mid-season, suggesting that the Finn had to up his performances, before he ultimately signed a one-year extension.
Speaking at Ferrari's traditional pre-Christmas lunch, Marchionne defended Räikkönen, and similarly expects Vettel to emerge as a more-rounded driver for his 2017 setbacks.
"I believe he is really great, truly talented and I have never doubted his abilities," said Marchionne of Räikkönen.
"I tell you, he's a really top guy, otherwise he wouldn't have taken pole at a track like Monaco.
"Sebastian is a guy who studies a lot, studies himself and is committed, therefore, I think that we will see less of his emotive side.
"I think he has learned enough. Plus, there were plenty of opportunities for him to get annoyed, as he's had a couple of rather difficult seasons, this year and the previous one."
Added Marchionne: "We continue to maintain we have an obligation towards these drivers, to give them a car with which they can race the others.
"I think [Team Principal] Maurizio [Arrivabene] has done a great job with the drivers and that's not an easy task."