Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen says he hopes “best team-mate” Sebastian Vettel renews his Ferrari contract for 2018, in the wake of the Finn’s retention earlier this week. The Maranello team confirmed on Tuesday that Kimi Raikkonen will stay on at the team for the 2018 Formula One season, thus prolonging his second stint with the Italian side for at least one more year.
On the other hand, Sebastian Vettel is in the final season of a three-year Scuderia Ferrari contract, and has previously stressed that he is in no hurry to settle his future. Kimi, though, would like to see the current partnership extended: “Sebastian is the best team-mate. We get on very well together, so hopefully it all stays the same as it is now.” – the Finnish driver said during the press conference ahead of the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen’s deal will likely pave the way for Scuderia Ferrari to conclude a new longer deal with Sebastian Vettel, whose current contract runs until the end of 2017, given the good relationship between the two drivers.
On his own contract extension, Kimi added: “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t want to and be happy with it, and the team feels same way. Everybody has their own view of things… obviously we want to do well, we want to improve, and we always find things to do better and try to find more speed. Lately it’s been a bit better; I’ve been feeling a bit more comfortable, [I’m] able to drive as [I] want and the results look a bit better. I am confident that we are doing the right things and getting to where we want to be.” – the Finnish driver explained, as reported by the Italian media at the end of the press conference which took place on Thursday afternoon.
2007 Formula One world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who won the Spa race four times, is currently fifth in the Formula 1 Driver Standings ahead of the 2017 Belgian Grand Prix, 86 points behind his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who is heading to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps with a 14-point lead over chief title rival Lewis Hamilton.