Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has backed Sebastian Vettel for more success in the 2018 campaign and believes that the Scuderia driver has learned a lot from past mistakes and is now able to be 'less emotive' on the track as he aims to topple Lewis Hamilton to the title next year.
Vettel impressed during the first half of the 2017 campaign but eventually lost out to Mercedes and Hamilton to the title. The German attracted criticism for his attitude during some Grand Prix races, particularly after one incident in which he deliberately swerved into Hamilton during a safety car period in the Azerbaijan GP which earned him a stop-go penalty.
Marchionne has insisted that Vettel has learned from these mistakes.
“Sebastian Vettel 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," he said.
“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.”
The Ferrari president went on to praise the talents of Kimi Raikkonen, and even after a disappointing year for the Prancing Horse, he remains confident of success for the 2018 season.
“I believe he is really great, truly talented and I have never doubted his abilities,” said Marchionne on Raikkonen. “I tell you, he’s a really top guy, otherwise he wouldn’t have taken pole at a track like Monaco.
“Given where we started from last year, this season we have taken giant strides forward. Having said that, the second half of 2017 was character building.
“From back in August of last year, when we overhauled the organisation, I totally believed that these guys, with Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal and Mattia Binotto heading up the technical side, would be capable of doing something amazing.”
“We really believed we could do much more: but in 2017, we were unable to reach our objectives. That has also resulted in some changes to the organisation of the Gestione Sportiva. We can already see significant signs of change when it comes to the team’s production capacity.”
“The important thing is to start 2018 with all this expertise and experience and to manage this organisation. I have no doubt that we will be competitive.”
GPFans is a multi-platform, multi-language brand dedicated to Formula One coverage. We bring you all the ins and outs of the sport, 24/7, everything from up-to-the-minute news and features to the latest viral stories and clips.
We believe that a new generation of exciting, outspoken drivers will make F1 more popular than ever before, and we want to give our users access to as much of their heroes as possible, on and off the track. From Lewis Hamilton to Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo to Sebastian Vettel, we provide in-depth analysis of every every Grand Prix in the season, from Australia to Abu Dhabi.
With Formula One under the new ownership of Liberty Media, how the sport is being covered is evolving, and GPFans will look to be at the heart of this progression into new media, as one of the fastest-growing sites covering the king of motorsports.