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'Kimi is back' - Maurizio Arrivabene

Clive Mason/Getty Images

Maurizio Arrivabene says Kimi Raikkonen's second-place finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix is proof the Ferrari driver is back at his best.

Raikkonen took his first podium since the Korean Grand Prix in 2013 and also collected his first trophy since returning to Ferrari last year. Arrivabene has been supportive of Raikkonen since he arrived as team principal last year, but warned the Finn that an extension of his current contract would be based on his performances this year.

"'I'm happy for Kimi because now I can say officially that - not that I've signed a contract - Kimi is back and we have two strong drivers," Arrivabene said.

Raikkonen used an alternative two-stop strategy to the Mercedes duo and Sebastian Vettel in front of him, which allowed him to pressure Nico Rosberg in the final stint and help trigger a brake issue on the Mercedes.

"Today we put together an aggressive strategy and this is exactly what we discussed. We recognise the gap we have with Mercedes so the only way is to be aggressive because at this stage you can make a mistake if you are aggressive. If one day we are able to catch them, of course the strategy must be put together in a way that is a bit different. "I am delighted. Because Seb, it's a confirmation even if today he got a few problems. I am happy for Kimi because now we have two drivers and this is what I am looking for."

Vettel ran off track on a couple of occasions in the race, which Arrivabene described as "big mistakes.

"The big one was at the beginning so we were obliged to change the strategy for Seb," he said. "Kimi, we told to follow our strategy. At a certain point he was not really convinced and we said 'no, we stay as we are'. And he was brave enough and disciplined enough to follow. It was a good result.

"Regarding Seb, I have to say he made two big mistakes but we don't have to forget what he has done up to now. He won one race and two podiums so sometimes it happens. We are humans, thank God and that is the beauty of the sport. So we can continue our development and that's it."