The Gestione Sportiva Christmas lunch with members of the media is a time for exchanging season’s greetings after a year spent together at the race tracks. Furthermore, it is an opportunity to look back at the key moments of what was an action packed championship.
“Given where we started from last year, this season we have taken giant strides forward,” was president Sergio Marchionne’s overview. “Having said that, the second half of 2017 was…character building. We learned a lot over the past six months, trying to move forward and that’s the most important thing. From back in August of last year, when we overhauled the organisation, I totally believed that these guys, with Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal and Mattia Binotto heading up the technical side, would be capable of doing something amazing. We really believed we could do much more: but in 2017, we were unable to reach our objectives. That has also resulted in some changes to the organisation of the Gestione Sportiva. We can already see significant signs of change when it comes to the team’s production capacity. The important thing is to start 2018 with all this expertise and experience and to manage this organisation. I have no doubt that we will be competitive.”
Naturally enough, the conversation moved on to the subject of the drivers: “Sebastian Vettel is a guy who studies a lot, studies himself and is committed, therefore, I think that we will see less of his emotive side. I think he has learned enough. Plus, there were plenty of opportunities for him to get annoyed, as he’s had a couple of rather difficult seasons, this year and the previous one. I continue to maintain we have an obligation towards these drivers, to give them a car with which they can race the others. I think we gave them a great car in 2017 and so, from now on, it’s down to him. As for Kimi Raikkonen, I believe he is really great, truly talented and I have never doubted his abilities. I tell you, he’s a really top guy, otherwise he wouldn’t have taken pole at a track like Monaco. I think Maurizio has done a great job with the drivers and that’s not an easy task.”
Until we meet again on 22nd February, when we will reveal the car that will race in the 2018 world championship, happy holidays to you all.