Comments Off on Ferrari re-signs Kimi Raikkonen for 2016.

Ferrari has ended the speculation surrounding the future of Kimi Raikkonen by confirming it has retained the Finn’s services for the 2016 Formula 1 season.Kimi Raik

A host of names have been linked with the seat over the past few months, notably Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg at Force India and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.

But the Scuderia has decided to take up the option on Raikkonen’s contract for next season and the 2007 world champion will again partner Sebastian Vettel.

“What can I say. For me, to be able to stay another year at Ferrari means that the dream goes on,” said Raikkonen.

“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”.

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene added: “We believe that extending Kimi’s contract into the next season will provide further stability to the team.

“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”.

Raikkonen has been outperformed by Vettel in the wake of the four-times title holder’s arrival from Red Bull at the start of this season.

Vettel has won two grands prix, in Malaysia and last time out in Hungary, as well as stepping on to the podium on five other occasions.

Raikkonen, however, has made numerous errors this year, mainly in qualifying, leading to the 35-year-old claiming a sole podium place by finishing second in Bahrain.

At present Vettel has scored more than double the number of Raikkonen’s points total – 160 to 76.

With Ferrari and Raikkonen teaming up again for next season, it is the first major move in the driver market from which there will now likely be a knock-on effect.

The most significant is that Bottas, tipped as Raikkonen’s likely replacement, will be expected to remain with Williams for next year.

By Ian Parkes

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