Scuderia Ferrari have confirmed that they have extended Kimi Raikkonen’s contract for one more season, which will see the Finn drive for the Italian outfit in 2018.
In a statement, the Maranello based squad confirmed their decision to keep the driver dubbed the ice man, on board next season.
“Ferrari announces that Scuderia Ferrari has renewed its technical and racing agreement with Kimi Raikkonen.
“The Finnish driver will therefore race for the Maranello team in the 2018 Formula One World Championship.”
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) August 22, 2017
Raikkonen’s future at Ferrari had been up in the air, following comments from President Sergio Marchionne prior to the Austrian Grand Prix, that he saw the Finn as a bit of a “laggard”.
However, recent improved race performances from the 38-year-old may have swayed Marchionne’s opinion, with Raikkonen’s willingness to remain behind team-mate and 2017 title leader Sebastian Vettel, whilst shielding him from the fast approaching Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers at the Hungarian Grand Prix, pleasing Marchionne greatly.
The Finn is the last driver to win a world championship with Ferrari, which he achieved when driving for the Italian squad back in 2007, but since joining back up with the team in 2014, he is yet to win a single race.
It is believed a stipulation of Vettel’s terms for staying at the Maranello based squad next year, was that Raikkonen remain as his team-mate for a further season, and so this announcement could now get the ball rolling on the German also putting pen to paper and securing further years with Ferrari. As yet no details of an agreement with Vettel have been announced however.
Whilst keeping faith in the Finn shows stability at Ferrari, who have been much improved this season, it also puts another nail in the coffin for a young driver waiting in the wings for his chance in F1, whilst the old guard, who some consider past his time, gets another bite at the cherry.
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