2007 F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen feels very happy to have a new deal for the 2016 F1 with Ferrari, and he is looking for a strong weekend this weekend at Spa for Belgian GP, with the Ferrari celebrating their 900th Grand Prix.
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said previously that Raikkonen’s future lay in his own hands, which was interpreted as a clear signal for the Finn to make improvements amid what has been a mediocre start to his second spell with the Italians.
But, this week, Ferrari’s surprising decision to retain Kimi Raikkonen alongside Sebastian Vettel for 2016. And team released a typical and short statement, which said the “technical and racing agreement” they had with Raikkonen was being renewed.
Ferrari wants stability and veterans
Last 15 season Ferrari race with only six drivers – Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel – enough evidence that the Ferrari like to run a stable squad in that regard.
Kimi is on a different level overall and has resources of experience, including five seasons with his current team.
Vettel-Raikkonen chemistry going well
Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said he expected Raikkonen to pay back the confidence the team have shown in him.
“We believe that extending Kimi’s contract into the next season will provide further stability to the team,” said Arrivabene.
“This (stability) 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.”
Still I won’t change my race approach
Raikkonen admitted he has been given a fresh chance to show he is committed to the Ferrari cause.
“What can I say? For me, to be able to stay another year at Ferrari means that the dream goes on,” he said in a team statement.
“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.”
“It doesn’t change anything,” the Finn said on Thursday.
“I mean we still try to do the same as every other race. So, that contract thing, it’s not going to change our approach for the weekend or the end result. Hopefully the end result will be good but no, we will do the same things as in all the other races. So, hopefully we can have a good weekend, no problems and see where we end up.”
Raikkonen, eclipsed by Spaniard Fernando Alonso at Ferrari last year, has been out-performed by Vettel this season, with the German scoring 160 points to the Finn’s 76.