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2018 F1

Kimi Raikkonen signs new Ferrari deal for 2018 F1

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Ferrari F1 has extended the deal of Kimi Raikkonen until the end of 2018 Formula 1 season, ending number of speculation, the Finnish driver could be replaced.

The Finn will drive for the Ferrari for a fifth-consecutive and eighth total season in 2018, the Italian F1 squad announced Tuesday. The decision to hold the Finn isn’t surprising, as he entered the summer break on the heels of his second podium in as many races, though it still will have a fairly large impact on the driver market.

“Ferrari announces that Scuderia Ferrari has renewed its technical and racing agreement with Kimi Raikkonen,” a team statement read.

“The Finnish driver will therefore race for the Maranello team in the 2018 Formula One World Championship.”

Raikkonen formerly raced for the Ferrari between 2007 and 2009, winning the driver’s world championship in his first year. However, he hasn’t won a race in the Ferrari red since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.

The championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who boosted his lead over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to 14 points, has yet to confirm his plans for 2018.

His deal expires at the end of the year but the German is expected to keep his solid partnership with the Finn intact for 2018.

“I think I have been public on the Sebastian issue, if he wants to stay he is more than welcome to stay,” said Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne after Hungary.

Raikkonen is placed fifth in the 2017 drivers’ standings on 116 points, 86 behind his teammate, ahead of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

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