TURIN, Italy – Four-time Formula 1 world champion Alain Prost believes Ferrari risks upsetting the atmosphere at Maranello if it drops Kimi Raikkonen for 2017.
Raikkonen’s current Ferrari contract expires at the end of the 2016 season, but is keen to extend his stint with the Italian marque alongside teammate Sebastian Vettel.
Raikkonen’s future has become a yearly discussion given he is one of the older drivers in the sport, and his failure to match Vettel in the championship has raised questions about how much longer he will drive for Ferrari.
Drivers such as Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez have been linked with the second Ferrari seat.
However, Prost believes the Italian marque must be careful when considering a driver change, believing that the pressure of racing for Ferrari can unnerve many.
“Everybody can see the positive points and negative points [of keeping Raikkonen]” Prost said.
“There are one or two drivers on the market who could be quite good for Ferrari, maybe a little bit quicker, but you don’t know.
“One thing you need to take into consideration is the pressure that you get at Ferrari. Sometimes you can see some very good drivers in an average team, and when they go in a top team, they don’t perform the same because they are a little bit different.
“And the positive side for him to stay is he’s got a very good relationship with Vettel. You have a number one and number two not on paper, but in fact, and for the ambience it’s not bad.”