Sebastian Vettel must “drive with composure, be more calm, less agitated” if he wants to remain in the Ferrari Formula 1 Team beyond Y 2017, Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne said Tuesday.
Mr. Vettel saw a difficult 2nd season with Ferrari in Y 2016, failing to win a race and falling to 4th in the F1 drivers’ championship, following a race-winning maiden season at Maranello in Y 2015.
The 4X world champion was outperformed by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in qualifying during 2-H of Y 2016, Ferrari was out paced by Red Bull in the constructors’ standings.
Mr. Vettel was told he must “earn his place” at The Scuderia beyond next year by team boss Maurizio Arrivabene, and while speaking to Italian media at Ferrari’s annual pre-Christmas briefing, Mr. Marchionne said both of Ferrari’s current race drivers were “under scrutiny”.
“As for our racing drivers, it’s work in progress,” Mr. Marchionne said.
“I admit we are looking around us for the future, by carefully analyzing the others’ situations.
“That doesn’t mean we do not have confidence in our drivers, but it’s fair to say they are under scrutiny.
“I’m happy with Raikkonen’s season – he will race again in 2017, but what about after that? Does he want to retire or carry on?
“With Vettel it does not make sense to talk about renewal now, we must first understand if he feels comfortable with us in 2017.
“We must give him a winning car, otherwise talking about the future is useless.
“He wants to win with us, we know that. Can we guarantee that for him? In exchange, he must drive with composure, be more calm, less agitated.
“He must think about winning on the track and beat the other cars, not about getting into personal feuds.”
Mr. Marchionne reiterated his desire for Alfa Romeo to return to F1 in the future, suggesting the iconic Italian marque could become a “breeding ground for young Italian drivers”.
Ferrari recruited GP2 runner-up Antonio Giovinazzi as its 3rd driver for Y 2017, and Mr. Marchionne suggested an Alfa Romeo team could do a better job developing Italian talent than current customer F1 squads Haas and Sauber teams might.
“Alfa Romeo in F1 could become fine breeding ground for young Italian drivers,” Mr. Marchionne said.
“The best one, Giovinazzi, is already with us, but there are others besides him, and they are struggling to find room.
“Alfa Romeo, more than our customer teams, could offer them that space.
“There is room for an Alfa Romeo return, possibly as a collaboration with Ferrari.
“Not now, though, because Alfa must first make money through sales of the Giulia and the Stelvio road cars.”
|NYSE:RACE||58.6||20 December 2016||-0.07||58.13||58.65||58.04||384,700|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
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