It was announced on Friday by the Ferrari team that they have confirmed that Kimi Raikkonen will stay at the team alongside Sebastian Vettel in 2017, ending months of speculation about his future.
Raikkonen had been out of contract at the end of the current season but Ferrari ended rumours about signing another driver next year on Friday morning, confirming it had renewed the Finn’s deal for 2017. It will keep the team’s line-up unchanged for a third season.
In a statement to the media on Friday, team boss Maurizio Arrivabene stated the following:-
‘Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has renewed its technical and racing agreement with Kimi Raikkonen. The driver line-up for the 2017 racing season will still consist of the Finnish driver and Sebastian Vettel.’
Raikkonen has not won a race since returning to Ferrari in 2014 and has scored just seven podiums in 47 races. However, four of those podiums have been scored this year and he is currently level on points with teammate Vettel.
Ahead of the announcement on Thursday, Raikkonen explained why he was keen to remain for a 15th season as follows:-
‘If I wasn’t motivated, I wouldn’t be here wasting my own time or the team’s time. I obviously enjoy it more when the results are better, but it doesn’t mean that you drive better than you drove before. It’s just that the whole package is better around you and we do a better job improving the package.’