It seems that for one more season at least, speculation about who will be Sebastian Vettel’s new teammate can be put to rest as Kimi Raikkonen has just re-signed with Ferrari for the 2016 season.
As you may have heard, three of the hottest names in Formula 1 have recently been linked with Ferrari. We’re talking about Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, though none of them are going to switch over to the “red team” for at least another year.
In fact, Williams are trying to work things out with Bottas so that he can stay with the team long term, while Red Bull should be doing everything in their power to keep Ricciardo.
Ferrari seemingly didn’t want to get caught up in rumors and preferred to take up the option on Raikkonen’s contract for next season, which means that the 2007 world champion will race along side Sebastian Vettel in 2016 – probably a much more competitive season than this one.
“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.”
While it’s understandable for Kimi to be thrilled to be staying on with his current team, Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene went on to say that he believes Kimi’s presence with the team will provide further stability and that he’s always counting on the Finn’s good relationship with Vettel.
“On our side, this shows our great confidence in him, and I expect this confidence to be well rewarded,” added the Ferrari team principal.
As it stands right now, Raikkonen is 5th in the driver standings, one point shy of Williams’ Bottas, yet 84 points adrift of his teammate Sebastian Vettel.
Story references: Autosport