Maurizio Arrivabene says it is 'too early' for Ferrari to consider its driver options for the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship as speculation over whether Kimi Raikkonen will be retained rumbles on.
The Finn has enjoyed a relatively positive opening portion to the 2016 season compared with an indifferent 2015 campaign, with three podiums from the opening eight races placing him fourth in the overall standings, but his raw pace relative to team-mate Sebastian Vettel is still considered to be lacking.
Indeed, though Raikkonen is only 15 points behind his four-time championship winning team-mate in the current standings, his seat is considered to be under threat as he comes to the conclusion of his current deal with the Scuderia
However, though the likes of Sergio Perez – who secured his second podium in three races in Azerbaijan by passing Raikkonen on the final lap -, Carlos Sainz and Valtteri Bottas are all believed to be candidates to replace Raikkonen, Arrivabene brushed off the speculation, insisting it isn't yet discussing plans.
“It is too early to talk about next season because the number of victories we have is still zero,” he insisted. “There is a long way to go.”
Even so, Arrivabene says he is pleased with Raikkonen's current performances and praised his Baku efforts despite a penalty that potentially cost him a podium finish.
“Kimi is back on and is fully concentrated on doing his job. Today he demonstrated that he is a good team-mate of Sebastian but if you look at Kimi in a certain sector he was the faster one at one stage. He is doing his job, we are looking, we are not in a hurry and I must say that he is not in a hurry.”
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