Ferrari F1 chief Maurizio Arrivabene has kept the faith in veteran Kimi Raikkonen as he handed him another year with the Reds and admits it would be a dream to see the the 37 year old on the top step of the podium again.
Speaking to ESPN, Arrivabene was asked why he had extended Raikkonen’s contract, to which he replied, “The reason why I think is quite clear. [Kimi and Sebastian] went through the last three years with great co-operation within them.”
“They feel very good together, being part of the team and translating this spirit to the overall team, I think we don’t find any reason why not confirming them together.”
Raikkonen was the last driver to win a Formula 1 World Championship title for Ferrari when he did so back in 2007. Since then he has left the team, in 2009, and rejoined them for a second stin in 2014. The Finn has yet to win again in red since his return to Maranello.
But Arrivabene remains sconfident, “He demonstrated that he could be capable to do it in Monaco. Also in Hungary he was nearly there. I would be happy if Kimi is going to win a race during the course of this season. For me, it could be a dream, because he was working so hard during the last three years and I think if he is going to win I can be happy.”
The Italian team have two young drivers – Charles Leclerc and reserve current team Antonio Giovinazzi – being groomed through Ferrari Driver Academy, but it is not a forgone conclusion that one day they are ehading for a race seat with the team.
Arrivabene explained, “Talking about the young drivers, they are growing, our objective is to of course to grow up young drivers and maybe to see them in the future with us. This is the final goal. But, before that they need to demonstrate in Formula One that they deserve it.”