Changed Raikkonen set for big 2016 in F1, Ferrari president says

Formula 1 is starting to see a different, more engaged Kimi Raikkonen who is set to have a "phenomenal" year in 2016, according to Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne.

Changed Raikkonen set for big 2016 in F1, Ferrari president says

Raikkonen ended last season fourth in the drivers' championship but only scored just over half of his F1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel's points haul.

He struggled in qualifying in particular and ended the season with three podiums compared to Vettel's tally of 13, which included three wins.

Raikkonen's future was the subject of speculation for much of the summer before Ferrari announced its decision to take up an option to keep him for one more year.

Marchionne said he believed the make-up of Raikkonen's personal life is having a positive impact on the Finn in the car.

"I've seen a huge change in Kimi during the season," said Marchionne.

"The second half of the season was much better than the first half. It was like watching a movie.

"We were talking with some of our colleagues in the last few days and I think we are beginning to look at a different Kimi.

"The fact he is married with a kid, he showed me a picture of his son earlier this month, he's a proud father.

"It's reflective of the changes in his own life. I think he is becoming a lot more settled, which I think will be helpful in 2016.

"I think he's going to be probably the most engaged that we have seen him in the last little while and I'm delighted he's part of the team."

Regarding Raikkonen's lack of recent form, Marchionne said he is confident the 2007 world champion can deliver next year.

"We have two drivers and they do compete and it just happens Sebastian has had a phenomenal year in his first year," said Marchionne.

"I'm expecting Kimi will rise up to the challenge and have a phenomenal challenge in 2016. And I think he can. He's a good kid."

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