Kimi Raikkonen has backed the recent managerial changes at Ferrari and believes the signing of Sebastian Vettel will help spur on the Scuderia for the 2015 campaign after a lackluster 2014 season.
Marco Mattiacci was drafted in as a replacement for team principle Stefano Domenicali who resigned in April after a disappointing start to the 2014 campaign which left the team stranded with an un-competitive car.
It seems that Mattiacci was just a temporary replacement, who by his own admission knew very little about the history of Ferrari in Forumla One. Marchionne has cut his ties with Mattiacci and replaced him with Maurizio Arrivabene.
Arrivabene has extensive experience of working within F1, he comes from a marketing and sales background and has held senior positions in tobacco giant, Phillip Morris. Through the Marlboro brand he became involved with the Ferrari team sponsorship and has sat on the Formula Commission since 2010.
Crucially Arrivabene is well known to Bernie Ecclestone and the two have a close working relationship. For Raikkonen the arrival of Arrivabene is a step in the right direction, as the Fin told the Ferrari website.
“I’ve known Maurizio Arrivabene for a long time I believe he is an extremely competent person and perfect for the role of team principal that he has been given,”
“Maurizio has known Ferrari and the business of Formula 1 for a long time and I believe he has the ability to motivate and push the team back to the level it deserves to be at. Everyone in the team, in every area of activity will now have to tackle a lot of hard work to get the new car ready.”
Speaking about the arrival of Vettel, who spent time in the Ferrari garage during the recent two-day test at Yas Marina, Raikkonen added: “It was nice that he joined us in the garage for the first day of testing, although I have to say that didn’t surprise me, because I know what he’s like and his approach to work.
“I think we can enjoy ourselves on track together, both of us fighting to be ahead of the other, while also working as a team to reach the common target of progressing in order to get the Scuderia back to the level it should be at.
“The team’s priorities are clear and we are well aware what are the areas that did not match up to our expectations. I am sure that thanks to the knowledge we acquired over the course of the season, we will be able to develop a more competitive car. I have every confidence in the ability of the team.”