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Marchionne questions Raikkonen's form

NEWS STORY
10/04/2017

While some would suggest that fifth was a fair result for the Finn in China, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne does not agree.

Unimpressed by what he clearly feels was a lacklustre performance which saw Raikkonen fail to get to grips with Daniel Ricciardo early in the race, and then come under pressure from Valtteri Bottas at the end, Marchionne has revealed that talks are to be held in a bid to help the Finn raise his game.

"I talked about this with Maurizio," he said as he left Shanghai at the end of the race, according to Motorsport.com. "Maybe they should sit around a table and he should talk to him.

"Today he seemed to be busy with other stuff," he added. "Vettel was more aggressive."

Whatever the reason for the Finn's failure to take on Ricciardo early in the race, once his teammate was through the heat was on, Vettel and the Australian banging wheels as the German sought to get by and close down race leader Lewis Hamilton.

For his part, Raikkonen's frustration later in the race as he waited to be pitted for fresh rubber produced more of the classic radio interaction we have grown used to over the years.

While the early pitting of Vettel, just before the Safety Car, was bad luck, leaving the Finn out for as long as he was smacked of poor strategy. As a result he was unable to take advantage of the squabbling Red Bulls ahead in the final stages of the races whilst also under pressure from countryman Bottas who had slipped to 12th earlier in the race following his "stupid" moment.

"I think we should have changed earlier," insisted Raikkonen, "but obviously it's easy to look at what happened and say after the race.

"The car was good when the tyres were fresh," he continued, "but it seemed to lose the front and at a place like this, you give a lot of time away and struggle to drive. I feel we should have done much better."

Over the weekend it was revealed that Marchionne is to resign as President by 2019, a move that might also see an end to Philip Morris International's association with the Italian team, Marchionne being a board member of the company which owns Marlboro.

Despite Raikkonen's performance, Marchionne - who feels the Safety Car robbed Vettel of victory - was encouraged by the result.

"It was a nice race," he said, "we finished second, we are second in the constructors' championship by one point and Seb has the same points as Hamilton. That's not bad after two races."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Shanghai, here.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by -ape-, 11/04/2017 15:09

"Marchionne who ?"

Rating: Positive (1)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Carugatese, 11/04/2017 13:27

"What should Marchionne say about such a pale race? Nothing else or, better, nothing at all, looking for another solution (i.e. another driver) before it's too late to say anything."

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3. Posted by danielmb, 10/04/2017 16:04

"It seems that Sergio, also, was too busy traveling to China rather than focussing on his primary job, which is turning FCA into a viable organization. What an absolute display of poor leadership to publicly condemn one of the leading ambassadors of your organization!"

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4. Posted by RER, 10/04/2017 10:11

"While I'll forever be thankful for what Sergio has done for Chrysler/Jeep I wish he would be more interested in the survival of FCA than who wins these races or this crazy fad of dropping huge engines into some of our cars that will never reach production, such as the Demon, that only a handful of people will ever buy. I am a retired Jeep worker (36 1/2 years) and it seems as though the further existence of our company needs ALL of your attention."

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5. Posted by airman1, 10/04/2017 9:42

"While I agree that Kimi could have had more spirited race, and that his driving style, honed in an era where tires were designed to last, is what is holding him back, really. I must say that I find Marchionne's comments despicable. One does not simply throws under the bus a driver like Kimi, or any driver for that matter. This is a discouraging policy of a man who clearly does not belong in this sport. "

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