In August, Ferrari confirmed Raikkonen would be retained on a one year-deal in 2018 before announcing that Vettel had signed a three-year contract extension a week later.
The news will see Ferrari continue with the same driver line-up for the fourth year in a row — a decision that Arrivabene said was the obvious choice & quite clear too.
“The reason why I think is quite clear,” he said. “They 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’s contract extension came despite, he is not able to win any race in the time span of 4 years, three of which have been at Ferrari. He came close to beating Vettel to victory in Monaco and Hungary this year but on both occasions finished a dutiful second to his teammate.
But Arrivabene has full confidence over the Kimi’s potential said it would be a “dream” to see the Finn return to the top of the podium.
“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.”
Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc is currently leading the Formula 2 championship by a healthy margin and is expected to move to Sauber next year to make his F1 debut. Arrivabene said Leclerc, along with Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi, would have to prove themselves in F1 before being considered as a Raikkonen replacement.
“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.”
Earlier at Italian Grand Prix, despite a bad race for Ferrari Sebastian Vettel says there will be ‘no panic’ for Ferrari after a bad home race at Monza.
But Niki Lauda, the Mercedes team chairman, thinks Ferrari simply made a fundamental setup mistake at Monza.
“Marchionne told me that he was not satisfied with the setup,” the F1 legend told Kronen Zeitung newspaper. “I think they made a mistake, because under normal circumstances we would never have run away like that. The normal difference between Mercedes and Ferrari is one, two tenths per lap, but this time it was double.”