Ferrari battled through a dismal 2014, and that in turn has led to plenty of changes in Maranello going into the 2015 season, including the additions of Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal and four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel as a driver.
One of the elements that’s staying on for the Scuderia is Kimi Raikkonen, whose return season with the team saw him fail to capture any podium finishes. But the Finn believes that the new blood inside Ferrari will be beneficial as the team tries to return to glory next year.
“I think Maurizio is great and perfect for the role he has been given,” said Raikkonen to the Ferrari website yesterday from Abu Dhabi. “I’ve known him from before and have seen how competent he is. I think he will bring to the team his experience and that will prove to be very beneficial.
“As I’ve already said, Sebastian is a friend and I’m happy to be working with him. I think we can work well together as a team, pushing each other to the limit on track for the good of the Scuderia, as we aim to get it back to where it should be.”
Ferrari has gone without a World Championship since Raikkonen himself brought it home in 2007, and in the first year of the new V-6 era, it struggled mightily against its Mercedes-powered rivals and Vettel’s former home, Renault-powered Red Bull.
From Raikkonen’s perspective, everyone in Maranello needs to work as one to ensure that the hard lessons learned in 2014 will help them in the season to come.
“It’s not been an easy year for me or the team,” he admitted. “Ferrari is always expected to win races and fight at the front. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, but for the next season we laid down the basis for Scuderia Ferrari to come back to the level it should be at.
“There’s a lot of work to do but we know which areas we need to improve on. This job has already started and in the factory, we have everything we need, in terms of personnel and the means to make the necessary progress. All we need to do is work as a team, in the unified way that typified this team in past years.
“I’m sure the 2015 car will be much more competitive, although we will have to wait for the first test session to see where we really stand.”