Formula 1

Maurizio Arrivabene explains decision to extend Kimi Raikkonen's contract

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Ferrari have come back to form in 2017 and after some underwhelming seasons over the last few years, are now challenging Mercedes for the highest honours, both in the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

Sebastian Vettel has been at the forefront, competing with Lewis Hamilton to secure his fifth title in top-flight racing. Despite leading for much of the season, he is currently second with 235 points, three behind his Mercedes rival.

However, it cannot be ignored that alongside the German star, Kimi Raikkonen has proven to be an indispensable figure within Ferrari.

Presently in his fourth consecutive season in the Italian outfit, the Finnish ace has ended the speculation surrounding his future by recently signing an extension to his contract, prolonging his services to the team for the 2018 campaign as well.

Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene has expressed his pleasure of retaining a driver of Raikkonen’s calibre and believes the experience he brings in is crucial in terms of their development over the next few years.

“The reason why I think is quite clear,” Arrivabene said, as per Planet F1.

“They [Raikkonen and Vettel] went through the last three years with great co-operation within them.

“They feel very good together, being part of the team and translating this spirit to the overall team, I think we don’t find any reason why not confirming them together.”

Asked if the 2007 champion could still challenge his teammate Vettel, the Scuderia chief replied: “He [Kimi] demonstrated that he could be capable to do it in Monaco. Also in Hungary he was nearly there.

“I would be happy if Kimi is going to win a race during the course of this season. For me, it could be a dream, because he was working so hard during the last three years and I think if he is going to win I can be happy.”

'The Iceman' certainly has the qualities to match the four-time world champion teammate in every circuit and if given the right car, he can produce the desired results which would benefit Ferrari in the constructors’ title.

The Finn with 138 points, currently fifth in the standings and as per 2017 campaign, will aim to provide support to his teammate, having consistently performed to the best of his abilities throughout this term.

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