It wouldn’t have escaped the notice of fans that in Hungary the Ferrari bosses were present to watch their man Vettel take victory in Hungary last weekend.
The team were said to have joked that it’s usually a bad omen if Marchionne and Co. arrive to watch a race as things will often go wrong but this time the stars aligned and Kimi was kept on a strategy that would ensure Vettel took the checkered flag. Raikkonen was pitted immediately after Vettel despite having pace to stay out on track but Ferrari were keen not to allow a possible ‘over-cut’ occur and the Finnish driver pass the championship leader out of the pits. Stark contrast to the Mercedes stance on team mate equality.
It should come as no surprise that Vettel will be driving for the red team in 2018 as Ferrari have openly admitted that ‘its up to Vettel’ to sign as the championship leader is out of contract at the end of the year. In turn, Vettel appears to be in the right team at the right time as 2017 is proving to the competition that Ferrari have finally got their act together.
“I made it very clear that if he wants to stay then we´ll just renew it. It´s up to him,” Marchionne told reporters before the race at Red Bull Ring in July and indeed it was rumoured that the Italian squad had offered an eye watering sum of money to keep Vettel at Maranello.
Sebastian wants Kimi next to him in 2018 and after achieving a 1 – 2 in Hungary with a compliant no.2 driver and in Raikkonen proven, it is understood within the paddock that we will see both drivers race for Ferrari next year. Indeed, according to the German paper BILD, Vettel is set to sign a new contract by Monza in September after the summer break.
Marchionne told Sky Sports reporters on Sunday that “Kimi and Sebastian fit together great. I think they want to stay, and we want to keep them. “.