Sergio Marchionne says Scuderia Ferrari will need to look into replacing Kimi Raikkonen should the Finn have another inconsistent season in 2018, with the likes of Charles Leclerc looking over his shoulder.
The President of Ferrari was speaking during the team’s traditional pre-Christmas media dinner, and he admitted Raikkonen would need to find his form in 2018 and be on par with team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with the Finn having failed to win since returning to the Maranello-based team in 2014.
Since joining Ferrari himself in 2015, Vettel has won eight races, including five in 2017 in finishing second in the Drivers’ Championship, and Marchionne feels it is time for the ‘Ice Man’ to step up to the plate next season.
“My personal opinion is that if we find the right key, Raikkonen drives like a God,” said Marchionne. “But we need to find it. When things go right, it’s a pleasure see him driving.
“He has an incredible coldness. Otherwise, in other moments it seems like he takes a break. He needs more consistency in terms of performance, but it’s important to find the right key to make him driving like in Monaco also on other circuits.
“Probably this is the last season to find the right key and we must do it. I think that would be a shame if he would leave F1 without showing his real potential.
“We see Leclerc, [Max] Verstappen and [Antonio] Giovinazzi, drivers with great skills, who can deliver a big change in the driver market. I’m still happy to have chosen Leclerc. I think that if we can not find the right key for Raikkonen, the choice will fall on a young driver.”