Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne has told Kimi Raikkonen that he now needs to deliver results to prove that he 'deserves' another contract for 2017.
Raikkonen's current deal runs out at the end of the year and, despite a promising start to the campaign, recent disappointing performances have cast doubt about whether or not he will be retained.
Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday, Marchionne made it clear that the future was very much in Raikkonen's hands – as he suggested the former world champion needed to lift his game.
“It is up to him,” said Marchionne. “Kimi’s time with Ferrari will depend on his performance. He has to show he deserves to stay here, other wise I think he won’t want to continue here as well. There will come a day when I will leave as well.”
Marchionne had come in to this year aiming for world title glory, but so far the team has not won a race.
Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene recently explained to Motorsport.com the team had been caught out by how tricky the SF-16H is to set-up, and improving in that area is now key to turning around its campaign.
Asked about what was the secret to Mercedes' dominance, Marchionne said: “Their secret is the stability of the car. The Ferrari SF16-H is new compared to the 2015 edition.
“Although the design looked great, once it took to the track there were some results that didn’t match up to our expectations. We are trying to move past that in order to understand what is needed in order to improve our performance. It’s a difficult car.”
Marchionne has also suggested that Ferrari needs to make improvements to its staffing organisation too, amid suggestions old working practices are holding it back.
“I don’t know if we are working with old methods, but the current structure is dated and doesn’t reflect the people we currently have,” he said. “We have a great company that produces results. We can and must improve.”
When asked then if the team was recruiting from outside, Marchionne said: “We are doing that.
"We just signed Jock Clear. There are people that are helping out those areas that are struggling. We want to round out the team. Results don’t happen overnight, and we need time to bring about tangible results that will like come in 2017.”