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Ferrari confirms February launch date

NEWS STORY
18/12/2017

While insisting he has faith in his team, even though admitting that it failed to reach its objectives, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has confirmed that his team's 2018 car will be revealed on February 22, four days before the opening pre-season test gets underway.

"Given where we started from last year, this season we have taken giant strides forward," he told members of the media at the Gestione Sportiva Christmas lunch. "Having said that, the second half of 2017 was… character building.

"We learned a lot over the past six months," he continued, "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 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."

Turning his attention to his drivers, he added: "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."

As in previous year, the, yet to be designated, 2018 car will be unveiled online.

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