2018 F1

Ferrari not confirming Monza driver call

Sergio Marchionne is not saying if Ferrari plans to announce its next driver lineup at Monza in one month.

The fabled Italian team often targets its home race as the scene of key announcements, amid strong speculation Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen are staying on board for 2018.

But there have been rumours linking Vettel with a dramatic swap with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

“Hamilton’s ending his career with Ferrari would be a privilege, but so far we have not gone far with such plans,” Marchionne, the Ferrari president, said.

“I’m not talking about the future as we already have two great drivers with us.”

As for the claims a Monza announcement is scheduled, he answered: “I have not heard if Maurizio Arrivabene intends to do so, as I do not plan the schedules myself.

“But at this moment only 11 races have been run, with nine still to go.

“I have spoken openly about the situation with Sebastian, because if he wants to stay with us, he is more than welcome to do so.

“In Kimi’s case, we’re pretty sure or we know that he wants to stay.”

More broadly, Marchionne said he is happy with how the 2017 season is going for Ferrari.

“I’m happy with the season but there’s still nine races,” said the Italian-Canadian.

“We have moved ahead of Mercedes in the drivers’ championship, and we are closer in the constructors, which means we have great chances,” Marchionne admitted.

Finally, he welcomed the early impact being made in the post-Bernie Ecclestone era by new F1 owners Liberty Media.

“Liberty Media has made a big investment and there is a good chance it is the way to make money and make formula one become profitable,” said Marchionne.

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