Ferrari announced the one-year extension of Kimi Raikkonen’s contract with the team and it makes complete sense to Ferrari boss, Maurizio Arrivabene. He feels the decision to stick with Raikkonen is good for team morale.
Vettel also got a new 3-year deal on the back of title chasing years with Ferrari, but a lot has been said about Kimi Raikkonnen’s inability to win in Formula in the last 4 years, 3 of which have been with Ferrari.
These new deals ensure that the Scuderia will be having the same pair of drivers in the Formula 1 for the fourth straight season and Arrivabene thinks it’s the most logical choice to make.
“The reason why I think is quite clear,” he said. “They went through the last three years with great co-operation within themselves. 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 we should not confirm them together.”
Arrivabene still has the ‘dream’ of seeing the Finnish veteran on top of the podium and he says he believes Kimi Raikkonen still has the pace to make it happen considering that he was only second to his teammate, Sébastien Vettel, in Monaco and Hungary.
“He 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.”
Runaway champion in the Formula 2, Charles Leclerc, who is a Ferrari driver, was hoping to get a nod to fill in Kimi’s position if the Finn had left the team.
Raikkonen stays and for now, Sauber looks like they will be giving Leclerc his Formula 1 debut next season. Arrivabene says he’ll only let Leclerc Into the main team after he has proven himself in the Formula 1.
“Talking about the young drivers, they are growing, our objective is to of course to grow up young drivers and maybe to see them in the future with us. This is the final goal. But, before that, they need to demonstrate in Formula One that they deserve it.”
Kimi Raikkonen has a big chance to win his first race in four years when Formula 1 returns to Singapore on September 17.