Sebastian Vettel will be expected to challenge Lewis Hamilton for the Formula One world title in 2018, says team boss Sergio Marchionne. After finishing third and fourth in his first two seasons with Ferrari, the German looked set to be a title contender in 2017 as he took a 14-point lead into the mid-season break.

Vettel won four races to secure that advantage – his best return since winning his fourth title in 2013 – but could not maintain that form in the final nine races.

Read: Marchionne optimistic of Ferrari challenge

He was only victorious once more in that period, while Lewis Hamilton claimed five wins to take the championship by 46 points. Ferrari president Marchionne expects the Scuderia's offering to be better next year, and will be demanding similar improvements from Vettel.


"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," Marchionne said.

"Plus, there were plenty of opportunities for him to get annoyed, as he's had a couple of rather difficult seasons, this year and the previous one. I continue to maintain we have an obligation towards these drivers, to give them a car with which they can race the others. I think we gave them a great car in 2017 and so, from now on, it's down to him."

Meanwhile, Marchionne had words of encouragement for Kimi Raikkonen despite another frustrating campaign and speculation his contract will not be extended beyond 2018. Marchionne added: "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."