Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen may have been consistently outscored by his younger teammate Sebastian Vettel in 2015, but Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne thinks the Fin will have a “phenomenal,” season in 2016 just as Vettel did in 2015.
Marchionne’s remarks came during Ferrari’s annual Christmas press conference at its headquarters in Maranallo. According to Motorsport.com, Marchionne said the team saw a huge change in Raikkonen from the first part of the season until the second and believes he will continue to better himself as the 2016 season approaches.
“If I can give you some encouraging information, it’s that I have seen a huge change in Kimi during the season,” Marchionne said.
“The second half was much better than the first, it was like watching a movie – where the second bit is better than the first,” he added.
Marchionne believes Raikkonen’s new family has played a part in him changing and has helped him become more “settled,” and mature.
“We were talking with some of our colleagues over the past three or four days, and we are beginning to look at a different Kimi,” the Italian-Canadian executive said.
“The fact he is married with a kid – he showed me a picture because he is a proud father – is also reflective of the changes in his own life.
“He is becoming a lot more settled, which I think will be helpful in 2016. I think he will be the most engaged we have seen him the last little while.”
“It happened to Seb, he has had a phenomenal year in his first year, and I am expecting that Kimi will rise up to the challenge and have a phenomenal season in 2016.”