Date: 15th December 2015 at 10:29am
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Can the influence of family see a new and improved Kimi Raikkonen for Ferrari in 2016?

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne certainly thinks so.

The 2007 Formula One World Champion was not guaranteed a race seat with Ferrari for 2016, but the Finn eventually went on to earn a new deal to continue his partnership with four-time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel.

In 2016, Ferrari believe they will have the beating of Mercedes, giving both Raikkonen and Vettel a shot at winning another drivers world title.

The 36-year-old finished the season 4th in the drivers standings, 128 points behind his team-mate.

Whilst Vettel enjoyed three Grand Prix victories, Raikkonen’s best result was in Bahrain when he finished second.

He stood on the podium a further two times, finishing third in Singapore and the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.

‘We were talking with some of our colleagues over the past three or four days, and we are beginning to look at a different Kimi.

‘The fact he is married with a kid – he showed me a picture because he is a proud father – is also reflective of the changes in his own life.
Marchionne told Ferrari’s traditional Christmas press conference at Maranello.

‘He is becoming a lot more settled, which I think will be helpful in 2016. I think he will be the most engaged we have seen him the last little while.

‘I am delighted he is part of the team. We have two drivers and they do compete.

‘It happened to Seb, he has had a phenomenal year in his first year, and I am expecting that Kimi will rise up to the challenge and have a phenomenal season in 2016.