Sergio Marchionne believes Kimi Raikkonen needs to raise his game if he is to do enough to earn himself an extension to his Scuderia Ferrari contract for 2018.
The Chairman of the Maranello-based team believes the Finn needs to show a higher level of commitment, and after the race at the Red Bull Ring, he sits 91 points behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel after the opening nine races, with only two podiums compared to Vettel’s seven, and no wins to the Germans three.
“I think Kimi has got to show a higher level of commitment to the process,” Reuters quoted Marchionne saying to reporters ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday.
“There are days when I think he’s a bit of a laggard, but we’ll see. I am going to talk to him today, we’ll see what happens.”
Raikkonen responded to the remarks after the race, saying that he is doing the best he can in a far from straightforward season, and that he is working hard to improve.
“Obviously I want to do well,” said Raikkonen to Reuters. “I can only do the best that I can. It’s not like I’m not trying. Unfortunately, it’s not been very straightforward sometimes but that’s part of F1.
“We keep pushing and I’m sure things will get better.”