Mattiacci 'strongly believes' in Raikkonen's talent

By on Friday, August 29, 2014
Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Marco Mattiacci has compared Kimi Raikkonen's return to Ferrari as like a football striker joining a new club, following the Finn's difficult period at the Italian squad.

Raikkonen returned to Ferrari for the 2014 season but has yet to claim a podium finish, with his fourth place in Belgium his best result of the year.

Raikkonen currently sits in 10th in the championship but Mattiacci says he is convinced of his talent.

"I see this like when you hire a great striker in football and for the first six, seven matches they are not striking and you are waiting and then suddenly they will do an amazing season," Mattiacci told Sky Sports F1.

"I think Kimi, we have seen in Hungary, we have seen [at Spa] we have seen he is an extremely talented driver.

"I don’t think we did an excellent job in putting him in condition to express the best of him. For sure, he has been suffering a little bit the car that we have for his driving style that he has, but I think it’s a combination of factors that didn’t bring him in the top five, six drivers. But I strongly believe in Kimi."

Mattiacci also confirmed that the driver line-up of Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso will remain into 2015, although he warned that there would be no quick fix to turn around Ferrari's fortunes.

"Now we are basically setting up a strategy that is going to be for the next three years and that is probably for sure going to see Ferrari go back to the top in Formula 1 and succeed," he said. "But eventually a way to organise the team operation-wise that is quite different from what it is today. I think Ferrari is one of the most impressive, iconic franchises in the world - that is, so many opportunities that lie ahead of us that I think we are going to create impressive value. But first is to go back to winning the World Championship.

"You have seen how long it took for Mercedes to arrive here. You have seen how long it took Red Bull to achieve what it achieved. I guess we are starting from quite a strong baseline – we have important assets, we have a tradition.

"Having said that, we need to improve some kind of strategy, some kind of bias to the way we work. Some kind of short-term approach to the racing activities, to the technical activities. So it is going to take a while. This not soccer: you don’t change the coach and buy two players and you are going to win next year’s championship."

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