Despite the F1 season having been drawn to a close, and Christmas fast approaching, Ferrari seem confident with their car in the 2018 season. So much so, that they have just announced the launch date for the 2018 car, 22nd February. This will be only 4 days before the start of the pre-season testing in Barcelona.

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But there is a lot more to indicate that they are confident. Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne recently said at the Christmas dinner “Given where we started from last year, this season we have taken giant strides forward. Having said that, the second half of 2017 was…character building. We learned a lot over the past six months, trying to move forward and that’s the most important thing.

“From back in August of last year, when we overhauled the organisation, I totally believed that these guys, with Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal and Mattia Binotto heading up the technical side, would be capable of doing something amazing.

“We really believed we could do much more: but in 2017, we were unable to reach our objectives. That has also resulted in some changes to the organisation of the Gestione Sportiva.

“We can already see significant signs of change when it comes to the team’s production capacity. The important thing is to start 2018 with all this expertise and experience and to manage this organisation.

I have no doubt that we will be competitive.”

Of the drivers, he went on to say “Sebastian Vettel is a guy who studies a lot, studies himself and is committed, therefore, I think that we will see less of his emotive side. I think he has learned enough. I think we gave them a great car in 2017 and so, from now on, it’s down to him.

“As for Kimi Raikkonen, I believe he is really great, truly talented and I have never doubted his abilities. I tell you, he’s a really top guy, otherwise he wouldn’t have taken pole at a track like Monaco.”

Kimi, won the championship for Ferrari in 2007, but seems to be aiming for the silverware too. Since then his best seasons were 2008 and 2012, where he achieved 3rd place, and so many observers viewed him as the No. 2 driver at Ferrari. This year he ended his 9-year drought for a pole position by achieving it the Monaco Grand Prix. Although that was the highlight for Kimi, as he was plagued with many DNF and other problems throughout.

When commenting on the 2017 season he said “Obviously I am here to try to win races and win championships, so it is far from ideal,” he said.

Who knows. Maybe 2018 will bring a One-Two for Ferrari!