Maurizio Arrivabene says Kimi Raikkonen’s performance has been boosted by feeling the trust from Ferrari this season.
Raikkonen was comfortably beaten by team-mate Sebastian Vettel in 2015, finishing 128 points adrift of the German in their first season together at Ferrari. This year, however, Raikkonen has been much closer to Vettel’s pace and actually holds a five-point advantage in the constructors’ championship at this stage.
Arrivabene attributes the improved performance to the environment Raikkonen now has at Ferrari, with the Finn signed for an extra year as early as July this season.
“Well, in my opinion everybody gets surprised when they talk about Kimi’s performance, but there is nothing to be surprised [about],” Arrivabene said. “The guy was a world champion, with us actually.
“Most probably he was suffering a bit in the last few years, but now he can feel that the team is… the part of the team that is working with Kimi is committed to him. He has a very good relationship with Sebastian and that helps.
“It’s just a question for him to feel the trust of the people around him and then he’s going to do his best. The guy when he has to push with his feet is pushing very, very hard.”
Raikkonen again outqualified Vettel in Austin on Saturday, leaving him trailing the German 10-8 in the qualifying head-to-head this season, with Vettel having held an advantage of 15-4 last year.
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