F1: Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) Line Up Unchanged in 2018
Ferrari has suggested that it will continue to field drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen in F 1 next year, with an announcement expected at the Italian GP, the 2nd event after the Summer break.
Vettel and Räikkönen have raced alongside each other since Y 2015, but both drivers are out of contract at the end of the year, prompting speculation over their futures.
Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne recently insisted that Vettel’s future is in his own hands, though called on Räikkönen to improve, describing him as “a bit of a laggard”.
However, speaking at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where Vettel and Räikkönen secured a 1-2 finish, Marchionne indicated that the partnership will continue into Y 2018.
Asked if Ferrari will announce its line-up at Monza, the team’s home race, Mr. Marchionne said, “I hope so”, before adding a “Yes” to the possibility of Vettel and Räikkönen.
Pushed on a percentage for the Vettel/Räikkönen partnership continuing, Marchionne commented: “Probably better than 50% – we will see.”
Messrs Vettel and Räikkönen’s 1-2 at the Hungaroring was their 2nd of the season, after Monaco, and brought Ferrari back within 40 points of MercedesAMG in the constructors championship, The Scuderia having drifted away at previous races.
Mr. Vettel is 14 points clear of MercedesAMG rival Lewis Hamilton, who finished 4th in Hungary, while Räikkönen holds 5th overall, 86 points behind his team-mate.
F2 title leader Charles Leclerc and Antonio Giovinazzi (runner-up in GP2 last year) are also contracted to Ferrari, their hopes boosted by Sauber’s new engine deal with The Scuderia.
Mr. Leclerc made clear that he is ready for F1, after testing for Ferrari earlier this week, while Giovinazzi admits another year on the sidelines would be really, really hard.
Have a terrific week.