Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has said Kimi Raikkonen will only receive a contract extension through to 2017 if he performs “like the world champion he is.”
Speaking to Italy’s Gazetto Dello Sport, Marchionne said that Raikkonen needs to turn in strong races for the remainder of the 2016 season if he wishes to stay with the team.
“We are under no illusion with Kimi, his stay at Ferrari depends on the way he races,” he said. “He really needs to show he deserves a Ferrari, otherwise I would think that to leave is his choice.”
“If we can’t give a positive contribution then it’s not worth staying, and Kimi knows that.”
Marchionne is staying positive, however, saying he’s “confident,” that Raikkonen will turn in the type of performance necessary to stay with the team. The Ferrari boss also acknowledged the SF16-H isn’t making things easy for Raikkonen and his teammate Sebastian Vettel.
“The Ferrari SF16-H came to being with new ideas compared to 2015,” Marchionne said. “On paper, when it was designed, it had an aesthetics and engineering beauty that, once on the track, had different behaviour from what was expected.”
“We are trying to tame the car in order to understand what it needs to be productive on the performance level.
“It’s a very difficult car.”