The pressure on Kimi Raikkonen to up his game is of the “positive” variety, Ferrari team boss Marco Mattiacci insists.
It is a near-certainty that disgruntled Fernando Alonso is leaving the Maranello team, but also with a solid 2015 contract is his Finnish teammate.
Any speculation Raikkonen might also depart Ferrari, however, has been mild at best, even though Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport is questioning whether the 2007 world champion should be kept in red.
That is because he has had a horror return to Ferrari this year, scoring fewer than 1 point in every 4 towards the team’s total tally as Alonso utterly dominated.
Raikkonen has openly admitted he has struggled with the F14-T car, and in Austin went as far as to say he “hates” the situation.
Felipe Massa, who until last year was Alonso’s Ferrari teammate, suggested recently that Raikkonen is obviously struggling mentally alongside the Spaniard.
“Maybe I am going mad,” Raikkonen sarcastically hit back in Austin. “Losing my mind. He can say what he wants, but I know the true story.”
But that doesn’t mean he knows the solution. So with the quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel coming on board for 2015, intense pressure might now be building on Raikkonen’s shoulders to quickly improve.
“Positive pressure,” insisted boss Mattiacci, according to the Spanish daily Marca.
“It is important when you have pressure to always approach it positively.
“We know we have a problem and we have to keep working on it,” he added. (GMM)