Ferrari a happier place in 2015, notices Raikkonen

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Kimi Raikkonen notices that Ferrari has become a happier place in the light of its strong recovery over the past 12 months.

Following a dismal 2014 campaign, the Scuderia underwent a major senior management overhaul, with long-standing president Luca di Montezemolo leaving the team after a 23-year tenure.

Also departing from Maranello was team principal Marco Mattiacci – who was replaced by Maurizio Arrivabene – and star driver Fernando Alonso – whose position was filled by Sebastian Vettel.

2015 saw Ferrari deliver one of its best seasons in recent years, with the revered Italian squad securing three wins and claiming another 13 podiums to finish runners-up to Mercedes in the Constructors’ championship.

“The year has finished and obviously for the next year people always expect more than the team did well this year, but it’s always different,” Raikkonen said while attending Ferrari’s annual Christmas dinner.

“There were some new people and the atmosphere overall has been very good in the team this year compared to the previous year and obviously that’s normal for us.

“This Christmas, everybody seems to be happier. Obviously a long season is finished and soon everybody gets some time off, there is a relaxed feeling”.

Raikkonen conceded his own 2015 performance were “pretty average”, with the Finn only picking up a trio of podiums. However, that did not deter Ferrari from taking up his one-year option for 2016.

While naturally eager to enjoy more success next year, Raikkonen, who remains the most recent driver to have been crowned world champion with the Scuderia (2007), warns that it would be premature to make any predictions.

“Obviously we all know where we want to be as Ferrari, Ferrari wants to win and it will not be easy, I mean, there are a lot of strong teams and all of them have the same idea of winning races and championships.

“Obviously, having done better this year, we have more expectations for the next one, but we are here for winning races, to win championships, so we will give our 100% to try to bring back the championship for Ferrari, but it’s too early to say.

“We can do our best but we can’t control what the others do, so we have to keep working the same way, always improving, then we will see where we end up in the next year. There’s not point to start guessing, we have to wait until the winter tests and the first race”.

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