Ferrari boss expects 'phenomenal' Raikkonen in 2016

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has tipped a revitalised Kimi Raikkonen to deliver a 'phenomenal' season for the Maranello team in 2016, after praising the turnaround in the Finn's form.

Although the 2007 world champion was heavily outscored by teammate Sebastian Vettel this season, his bosses elected to take up an option in his contract to retain him for next year.

Speaking at Ferrari's traditional Christmas press conference at Maranello on Monday, Marchionne said he believes that Raikkonen is on course to deliver something special next year.

"If I can give you some encouraging information, it's that I have seen a huge change in Kimi during the season," said Marchionne.

"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 said.

Family influence

Marchionne added: "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 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.

"I am delighted he is part of the team. We have two drivers and they do compete.

"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.

"I think he can. He is a good kid."

Additional reporting by Franco Nugnes


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news