Arrivabene: Marchionne made call to keep Raikkonen

2016 British Grand Prix

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Ferrari re-signed Kimi Raikkonen for the 2017 season just hours after president Sergio Marchionne informed team principal Maurizio Arrivabene to keep his driver.

Arrivabene confirmed during today’s FIA press conference the decision to keep Raikkonen came from the top.

“We confirmed Kimi because first of all he deserves it,” Arrivabene confirmed.

“Having said so we are looking for the interests of the team and the interest of the team was not looking for another driver but concentrating on car development.”

“We have two good drivers so that was not an issue for us, so we remove all the pressure from the shoulders of Kimi in taking this decision, that actually was confirmed yesterday in a phone call from the president, and a couple of hours [later] we are with Kimi.”

Arrivabene said the team decided to confirm its driver line-up early to put an end to questions over it and focus on improving their car.

“We confirm Kimi not very soon, because we are in July but normally the tradition of Ferrari it was to do a press release in Monza,” he said.

“We are a new team, we have changed the tradition and we are confirming now because I think we would like to be, as I said, focused and concentrated on car development and not about confirmation or non-confirmation of the drivers. So it’s a message of stability.”

Raikkonen will benefit from having pressure of his contract negotiations taken away, Arrivabene added.

“Relating to the pressure, you know better than me that in the last three or four races every time that Kimi was sitting in a press conference somebody would ask what about his contract, what about your contract?”

“I asked many many times for a bit of respect for a driver that was a world champion with Ferrari. I know that his nickname is Iceman but he’s a human being.”

“Sometimes in Formula One we need to be conscious that we are talking, not with cars because actually the computer talks with the car but the cars are driven by human beings so even Iceman is a human being with his emotions and I think he could feel the pressure.”

2016 British Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    35 comments on “Arrivabene: Marchionne made call to keep Raikkonen”

    1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
      8th July 2016, 19:32

      Holy crap, is this actually Scuderia Ferrari we’re talking about? Minimizing pressure and keeping stability? Surely it can’t be!

      1. Yeah, lol slowly going in the right way????

    2. I’m happy, deserving for sure. He is still very quick and I think he still belongs in F1, at least next year he does.

      1. That 3rd place ahead of a Mercedes in Austria surely did it for him.

    3. yes, it was a no-brainer. plus, kimi is very good for the road car business.

    4. Wrong move,

      Like Martin Brundle was saying on Sky this morning Ferrari should have brought somebody in that could really push Vettel & therefore the team forward much as Max Verstappen’s move to Red Bull has done with Ricciardo.

      For as much as I like Kimi he’s just not as fast as Vettel on a consistent enough basis.

      1. What use is pushing Vettel if the car’s not good enough to challenge for title? As Arrivabene said, they need to concentrate on car development first, and Kimi’s among the best available for that (ask the likes of Newey, Brawn, Whitmarsh and Dyer).

        1. Sviatoslav (@)
          9th July 2016, 9:06

          Ask Vettel why this genius cannot develop a winning car. Fans were telling that Vettel is much better than Alonso in this regard.

      2. Different teams and different circumstances. RBR have the luxury of having someone as genius as Newey, that RB12 is a sensational car, RBR themselves have recognized it as the best Red Bull ever to come up from their Milton Keynes based factory. Having a car like that even if it is down on power means that you have a realistic chance of winning races in a non power-dependent high downforce circuit. Their drivers must capitalize on that.
        Ferrari on the other hand need to sort their car issues (BHP+High speed aero) first plus the fact that every driver that could push Vettel is secure at least for 2018 (Lewis,Ric and Ves).
        I’m pretty confident that Brundle knows very well this but sometimes there are peoples who like to criticize Ferrari for whatever they are doing.

      3. Agreed it will be another boring season for Ferrari. I hope they enjoy looking at the back of the Red Bulls. Terrible choice. At this point Kimi is only collecting a pay check. Also not much movement elsewhere so bad for F1.

    5. What a farcical way to run a company. Who would want to be team principal in a company where the president dictates from above who your drivers will be.

      1. You mean like any other racing team?

    6. They just can’t help interfering, these bosses, even when they know so much less about it than the employees they’ve delegated. Zetsche and the MB board are the same. Ego, fuel of F1.

      I had to smile as the ‘he deserves it’ reason, too. That was the reason for Massa after the spring injury and for Luca Baddriver. Part of the culture that impedes them.

      1. Agreed getting Vettel is understable but other then that there is not much going on at Ferrari. Kimi has a boring style. I like what RBR did with Max.

    7. I am growing to be a fan of Sergio. Ever since Montezemolo split, he is slowly doing the right moves…

      Sure absolute prioroty is getting top drivers….

      But actually priority should be to design the fastest car.

      Take a look at Mercedes, drivers are “terrible” crashing all the time, car is unreliable… But 0.5-1s faster than anyone else…

      We the fans would like to see Vettel pushed by say Riciardo… But imagine how many points would Lewis have by now with harmonious #2?

      1. Not as many as Ros would have had he had a harmonious #2.

    8. Arivebene apparently wishes to acquire the current driver of car no. 22.
      Notwithstanding the fact that he may have to wait quite a few years to
      achieve his goal, one can imagine the sort of internicene battles currently
      afflicting the Mercedes driver operation would transfer quite readily to a
      Vettel/Hamilton lineup. You will probably be able to hear the whining
      from Herr Vettel all the way from Italy to England.

      1. Who’s in car no.22?

        1. FFan, No. 22 is Jenson Button’s number.

          1. My misprint….sorry guys…..Car No. 44 is the right one.

            Mr Hamilton’s limousine !

            My sincere apologies.


            1. It has nothing to do with car nr.44. It has everything to do with Force India, since Carlos Slim had a talk with Sergio Marchionne about Perez. Slim wants Perez at Ferrari but not this season, which for Ferrari is ok since they can keep Raikkonen and focus on the car. Depends of how Perez will adapt to the new cars so the best test is… 2017.

    9. A lot of people are complaining about kimi getting contract renewal with reasoning’s like “driver this or that could do better job” or “he cant push Sebastian” etc. well maybe they are right and he is past his prime and or to old for modern F1, but people should think about the big picture here. Ferrari at least partly uses F1 as an advertisement venue for road cars and Kimi was the most popular driver last year (most likely still is) and as a head of a global company Marchionne has to notice this. It does not matter if Raikkonen is not the fastest anymore or he never was because he has enormous marketability and teams like Williams (martini hmmmmm) and Sauber would hire him on the spot given opportunity. I would not even be surprised if Bernie had something to do with this contract.

      1. And their current drivers are not driving each other off the track, so that’s something

        1. China? We can blame Kvyat, Vettel or Kimi about that. Maybe just bad luck

      2. lippalappa, when Kimi was driving for McLaren he was the fastest except his car kept on falling apart…
        Kimi is and was a very fast driver.

        1. Yes i know that. I only wrote like i did to highlight things that are, in my opinion, important despite anyone’s believes about his current or past driving capability.

          I am a Finn and i sure as hell hope Kimi and Bottas do well in their races.

      3. @alipappa, Kimi has a certain popularity amongst the F1 fan base, but independent marketers consider his international marketing value to be pretty low – an independent assessment in 2015 didn’t even rank him within the top 10.

        By contrast, Perez and Grosjean (two of the names who were mentioned as possible replacements for Kimi) were considered to be much more marketable than Kimi is. From a commercial point of view, therefore, Kimi is potentially hurting Ferrari’s opportunities to generate more advertising revenue, not helping it.

        That does seem to be borne out by reports in Autosport too – they’ve pointed out that, when Ferrari offered their sponsors photo opportunities with Kimi, some of their sponsors have rejected the offer and asked for Vettel instead, as they didn’t think that Kimi was particularly marketable.

      4. The thing is: Kimi is very popular among F1 fans, but how many of them actually buy Ferraris?
        Your advertisment has to be directed at your customers, not the viewers looking for entertainment. They should be looking for a driver capable of winning when Vettel can’t (i.e. Spain this year). Right now they don’t have this driver yet.

        1. I’m a fan of Kimi. And I do buy and drive Ferraris.

        2. Not really. because if you attract the masses then you built an overall image of the company that will make actual customers more interested.
          Do you know why many millionaires buy Ferraris and prefer them more over a Zonda? Because they know lots of kids have Ferrari posters in their rooms.

    10. Being a Raikkonen fan I’m glad to see him in F1 next year, but I don’t necessarily agree that he deserves it. The way I see it, he’s there to collect leftover points and to keep Vettel confident.
      I think Mercedes’ crash last week might have contributed to this decision. And they might be right after all, maybe they should focus on the car, next season will probably be a ‘meh’ season and come 2018 they might have bigger fish to fry.
      If Mercedes are worth their salt they should grab Perez while they can. I suppose Grosjean is bound to Haas/ Ferarri, and Ricciardo/ Verstappen are bound to RedBull, but Perez is pretty hot at the moment. Sad to see Bottas sink in the last few months, he looked ruthless enough.
      Either way, I don’t get why Mercedes keep Rosberg. He’s not a top driver and he doesn’t bring stability in the team, so really, why is he there?!

      1. That would be an interesting move to drop Rosberg for Perez but hey in F1 anything can happen.

    11. Awful and boring decision.

    12. They really want to get Lewis Hamilton, and willing to wait.
      This Ferrari

    13. Constantijn Blondel
      9th July 2016, 7:26

      “We confirm Kimi not very soon, because we are in July but normally the tradition of Ferrari it was to do a press release in Monza,” he said.

      I’ve been staring at that sentence for the last ten minutes. I see what he’s trying to say, but I have no idea what he’s actually saying :)

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