Kimi Raikkonen will remain with Ferrari again next season, it has been confirmed by the Scuderia.
The announcement ends speculation Raikkonen might be dropped after some lacklustre results – he was branded a ‘laggard’ by Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne prior to a fifth place finish in Austria at the start of July.
The Finn has, however, still taken four podiums this year, including last time out in Hungary, when he was second, and he took his first pole position since 2008 in Monaco.
A short statement from the Scuderia read:
“Ferrari N.V. 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.”
Raikkonen has been retained on a year-to-year basis ever since re-joining the team back in 2014 – although he has yet to win since returning, his last triumph coming back in 2013 in Australia with Lotus.
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) August 22, 2017
Sebastian Vettel is also expected to continue with Ferrari next year, although the German has yet to sign an extension to his three-year deal and prior to the summer break said he was in ‘no rush’ to do so. Finnish newspaper Ilta Sanomat has since reported that the delay is because he only wants a one-year deal.
“It’s true that I haven’t got a contract yet but I think the primary objective at the moment is not to look at papers and worry about those, I think it’s to make sure that we get some good results,” Vettel said in Hungary.
“As far delaying, I think the fact we are working hard, both from the team’s point, my point, I think we have other things to do right now, so, as I said, in the summer there’s a bit more time. There’s a couple of weeks’ stretch where there is no race but for now I think the focus is extremely high on working on the car. So, for me I’m obviously not designing the bits but trying to give as much feedback as I can, trying to spend time in the simulator, generally talking to the team. That, at the moment, has priority. As I said, a piece of paper can be signed fairly quickly so that’s not a problem.”
Picture credit: Ferrari