Sebastian Vettel's quest to become the F1 world champion this year may have ended in failure, but he has retained the backing of Ferrari team boss Sergio Marchionne.
Despite finishing second in the Drivers' Championship, recording five victories and securing his highest points tally in his third season driving for the legendary Italian outfit, Vettel's season was seen in some quarters as something of a disappointment.
This may have been due to the promise of such a bright start to the championship, at one point leading in the standings by 25 points, ending a distant second by end of the campaign.
From such promising beginnings, his season quickly became embroiled in controversy, much of it self inflicted.
A penalty imposed in Azerbaijan for impetuously ramming into the eventual champion Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes hinted that the pressure of holding off the flying Englishman may have been affecting the German.
Crashing out on the first lap in Singapore whilst on pole position led further credence to the theory that the four-time champion Vettel was struggling to deal with the tension of the title race.
Speaking at Ferrari's traditiaonal Christmans lunch, Marchionne was fully confident that 2018 would see a much stronger Vettel return to the track
"Sebastian is a guy who studies a lot, studies himself and is committed, therefore, I think that we will see less of his emotive side,” he said.
“I think he has learned enough. 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.”
Ferrari bosses desperate to land the Drivers Championship after a 10-year wait will be expecting a cooler, calmer Vettel, to steer their iconic red car to glory next year.
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