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Raikkonen says Ferrari to decide on 2016 ‘option’

Raikkonen says Ferrari to decide on 2016 'option'
Kimi Raikkonen says it is up to Ferrari whether he stays at the Italian team beyond 2015.

Reports in recent days have suggested that after his 2014 slump, Raikkonen’s return to form has piqued Ferrari’s interest in keeping him alongside Sebastian Vettel for 2016.

The guaranteed two-year term of the 35-year-old’s contract expires at the end of this year.

When asked about staying in 2016, Raikkonen said in Bahrain: “That is up to the team to decide.

“They have an option on my services — go and ask them!” he told F1’s official website.

In the paddock, Raikkonen told reporters he remains motivated, and is enjoying the atmosphere at Ferrari in 2015.

He is uniquely positioned to comment, having raced in red in the Jean Todt era, through the unstable Domenicali-Mattiacci turmoil, and now under Maurizio Arrivabene’s reign.

“This year is the best (atmosphere) that I have had in any team,” said Raikkonen. “That tells you a lot. I’m very happy.”

German Vettel said on Thursday he would be happy if Raikkonen, his personal friend, stays in 2016.

“I have a good relationship with Kimi,” he said, “better than with any teammate I’ve had.

“I think he’s doing a good job and the team knows it. Also last year I think he was closer to Fernando Alonso than people remember.

“I don’t know the details of his contract, but there is a lot of interest in fast and experienced drivers. I think he has his future in his own hands,” added Vettel. (GMM)

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