Raikkonen: 2016 title talk premature for Ferrari

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Kimi Raikkonen believes that it is too early for Ferrari to talk about fighting for the Formula 1 constructors’ championship in 2016 despite enjoying a resurgence in form this year.

Ferrari bounced back from a winless campaign in 2014 to pick up three race wins in 2015, finishing second in the teams’ standings behind Mercedes.

Raikkonen struggled to match the form of teammate Sebastian Vettel, but still scored almost three times as many points as 2014 and rose from 12th to fourth in the drivers’ championship.

Many are tipping Ferrari to battle with Mercedes for supremacy in 2016, but Raikkonen believes that it is too early to talk about winning the championship.

“Obviously we all know where we want to be as Ferrari. Ferrari wants to win and it will not be easy, I mean, there are a lot of strong teams and all of them have the same idea of winning races and championships,” Raikkonen said.

“Obviously, having done better this year, we have more expectations for the next one, but we are here for winning races, to win championships, so we will give our 100% to try to bring back the championship for Ferrari.

“But it’s too early to say. We can do our best but we can’t control what the others do, so we have to keep working the same way, always improving.

“Then we will see where we end up in the next year. There’s not point to start guessing. We have to wait until the winter tests and the first race.”

Raikkonen has spoken before about the improved atmosphere at Maranello in 2015 following a turbulent year previously, and said that it was particularly noticeable in the holiday season.

“The year has finished and obviously for the next year people always expect more than the team did well this year, but it’s always different,” Raikkonen said.

“There were some new people and the atmosphere overall has been very good in the team this year compared to the previous year and obviously that’s normal for us.

“For the Christmas everybody seems to be more happy. Obviously a long season is finished and soon everybody gets some time off, there is a relaxed feeling.”