Ferrari announce Raikkonen contract extension

Kimi Raikkonen will remain with the Scuderia Ferrari team for the 2016 Formula 1 season after being re-signed for a third year in his second stint at the team.

The Finn rejoined Ferrari in 2014 after two years driving for Lotus, having initially driven for the Italian team between 2007 and 2009, and will remain in an unchanged line-up next season alongside Sebastian Vettel.

“What can I say,” said Raikkonen. “For me, to be able to stay another year at Ferrari means that the dream goes on. The Scuderia is my family, as I always said, it’s here I want to end my career.

“I am more committed than ever and I want to say thank you to the people who gave me this chance. Also, a big thank you goes to all my Ferrari fans, for their continuous support.”

Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene believes the continuity at Ferrari will benefit the team, especially with the close relationship Raikkonen and Vettel have with each other.

“We believe that extending Kimi’s contract into the next season will provide further stability to the team,” said Arrivabene. “This has been our guideline, also considering the very good relationship between Kimi and Seb.

“On our side, this shows our great confidence in him, and I expect this confidence to be well rewarded.”

The decision to retain Raikkonen means there is no place within the team for current Williams Martini Racing driver Valtteri Bottas, who had been heavily linked to the seat, while Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was also in contention.