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Kimi Raikkonen retained by Ferrari for 2018 F1 season
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: Editor   |  22 Aug 2017   |  12:02 pm GMT  |  259 comments

Ferrari has announced that Kimi Raikkonen will be retained for the 2018 season, in a short statement released on its website. Raikkonen has been handed a one-year contract extension.

The 37-year-old Finnish driver will begin his fifth consecutive season with Ferrari and his eighth with the Scuderia. Raikkonen’s sole world championship title was won in his debut season with Ferrari in 2007.

Sebastian Vettel hasn’t yet renewed his Ferrari contract, which lasts until the end of the 2017 season.

Vettel said before the Hungarian Grand Prix in August: “It’s true that I haven’t got a contract yet but I think the primary objective at the moment is not to look at papers and worry about those – it’s to make sure that we get some good results.”

The slim possibilities of juniors Charles Leclerc or Antonio Giovinazzi beginning their rookie F1 seasons at Ferrari next season have been all but dashed after Raikkonen’s renewal.

Speculation around McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr, and Haas’ Romain Grosjean taking Raikkonen’s seat has also ended as a result.

Have your say on Kimi Raikkonen’s contract renewal in the comment section below.

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259 comments

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1

So it's on? VET/HAM vs ALO/RAI in 2018?

2

No, it's status quo most likely for next year

3

I think there's more chance of Bernd Maylander driving for Merc F1 than Sebastian Vettel in 2018...........

You've got to give credit to Kimi's manager Steve Robertson - his ability to negotiate a lucrative contract for his client is stuppendous. Being persuasive to the people who matter (i.e who have influence) is the greatest gift a human being can have.

4

Nah they just use RAI till the contracts from VES and RIC end. Then see which one they can get. Same with Mercedes and Bottas. But Bottas turned out a to be a keeper. RIC suits Ferrari more then VES, I mean as Vettel's team mate. Both Merc and Ferrari want VES more then any other but he as a team mate of VET or HAM is unlikely. Maybe they wait till Hamilton stops then VES could take his seat.

5

I still think there's a fair chance, personally. If Vettel brings Ferrari their first championship in 10 years that will put his account at Maranello right back in credit, and his incentives to go elsewhere will diminish, too. They're up against it, though - most of the remaining circuits will favour Mercedes and Hamilton.

Even then, there are too many unknowns at the sharp end of the grid. The logical replacement for Vettel would be Max, but if Red Bull make a step forward and challenge for the title he might not be so quick to jump ship.

A lot also hinges on Hamilton - if he wins in 2017 and 2018 he might decide to retire a five-time champion, paving the way for Vettel to link up with Mercedes. But if he goes for Schumacher's record, what then? You'd probably say the most likely outcome is Red Bull swapping Max for him. Much depends on Vettel's ability to prove he can win championships without all the advantages he enjoyed 2010-2013, though.

6

Kimi doesn't have a manager after his 2014 (2+1) deal to Ferrari was signed.
2016 was basically Ferrari exercising an option they had on their side. In 2016, Kimi & Ferrari negotiated a 1+1 deal with Ferrari with option on Ferrari side which they seemingly have exercised. So as far the 2016 (current) deal goes, Kimi's manager has nothing to do with it...he cut the deal on his own. His manager himself said that.

7

Where does he say that? Robertson was definitely still managing Kimi at the beginning of the year and I've seen nothing to indicate they've ended their arrangement. Whether he's been actively involved with the deal or not, I can't say. It's possible the nature of their arrangement has changed over the years, but it would be very odd to cut someone with Steve's experience out of the loop entirely.

9

Yes his manager is the most talented guy in F1.

10

What, better than Flava Flav?

11

Not likely. Mercedes will stick with Hamilton/Bottas.

12

Why change the team dynamics when Bottas is a clear number 2 driver.

13

Two words: Esteban Ocon.

Mercedes are very happy with Bottas, but if Ocon's 2018 is anything like his 2017 then they might move him to the top team to keep hold of him. Whether he'd be partnering Bottas of Hamilton is the big question.

14

If you think Alonso is going to Ferrari you are sadly mistaken.

15

If you think Ferrari WANTS fernando you are sadly mistaken...😂

16

I reckon you're right, but then again many might have said the same of McLaren not so long ago 🙂

17

No it wasn't. anyone with common sense knew Alonso would not be moving.

18

I think you might have mistaken my comment Stephen - I was responding to Tom's and saying that a few years ago people would not have thought that McLaren would have wanted Alonso back.

19

Wish it was true but in that case Mercedes would have the better driver-pair as Kimi is way of his best! It will be HAM/BOT against VET/RAI next year also

20

You may have forgotten who they wanted before but contract prevented. He will be available at the end of 2018 and he speaks Italian.

21

Kimi and his manager Steve Robertson don't speak any Roman-Latin languages and it hasn't hurt their prospects at gainful employment in the last few years, has it!

Probably for the best really. Mr Viking-Nordic and Mr Roman-Latin have totally different syntax, grammar, vocab, and all the rest, which is why the Hulk can speak fluent Dutch - with an Amsterdam accent with it's guttural inflections and rolling R's, but as Dutch and German are all part of the Germanic-Nordic language - and culture - it's not that surprising.

22

If that is the case, RBR will turn into Ferrari's real junior team... VER/SAI at Ferrari in 2023?

23

Ricciardo speaks Italian?

24

@ Mat...fluently.

25

Well Verstappen speaks Italian-as he drove STR for a couple of years . As do most of the drivers that have driven for STR.

26

Sorry, refresh my memory, who are you referring to?

28

no surprise there then, well done Kimi

29

That's a Sky subscription for 2018 then......Damn it!!

30

Was it ever really in question? I very much doubted that that they would drop him now, especially when so much top talent will come onto the market in 2019. It would also appear that they appear to have met with Vettel's desire to have Raikionnen as a team mate. They do seem to get on rather well...externally. Raikonnen will not give them any aggravation and he will in turn be rewarded handsomely for this. This then leads into the '19 speculation and so much will need to happen next season to pick just who will be in contention for the seat which i have no doubt will come free. I think that we can most likely forget new [ '18 ] seasons rookies based simply on Ferrari tradition, which of course can be overthrown at the flick of the wrist! Verstappen will not come free until '20 it seems and Ricciardo will be available. In my mind a dead set Ferrari driver. Grosjean/Perez/Hulkenberg are not, i believe, in the frame. Maybe Alonso as a wild card but i can't see it happening for him. Hamilton has said that he will finish his career at Mercedes and Bottas doesn't seem to be a Ferrari man either. He will get a two year extension at Mercedes if he keeps on keeping on...i think. So it's back on now and i think that Raikonnen will be hot to trot on Sunday just as a thank you to the team.He's a safe pair of hands that can also pedal pretty damn quickly if he has to.

31

Verstappen will make himself available at the end of next year if RBR aren't competitive . He'll just pay out the remainder of his contract I reckon. Also I think your dismissal of Leclerc as 2019 candidate is very premature Kenneth. Ferrari is much grooming Leclerc to be a Ferrari driver in the next few years. If Leclerc does well next year in Sauber he will get the big job the following year. Ferrari explored the idea of getting Ricciardo but in my opinion if they really wanted him it would have happened this year.

32

@ Stephen Taylor...I don't quite know how you can come to that conclusion from reading my post? leclerc was not even mentioned, and he may not get a drive even in '18, however i only reiterated what has been an unwritten policy of Ferrari and i also said that it could well be dismissed at anytime they chose? You are reading into it what is not there! As for Ricciardo, Horner/Marko have made it abundantly clear that Ricciardo was not available for '18. Why would they, Ferrari, offer mega $$$ when he will come without any $$$ penalties in '19?. I think you should not be so quick to shoot from the hip.

33

In the mean time RB with the Renault engine will go nowhere or thereabout.
So both Ricciardo and Max can decant being no threat to Mercedes and Ferrari.

34

I don't see a Vettel/Ricciardo partnership ever occurring in F1 again . There is too much needle there from what happened at RBR in 2014 and Daniel hasn't exactly been complementary about Seb at all times this season. I think they respect each other but I don't they like each other that much either.

35

Let's face it, the last time Vettel had a team mate that wasn't either on the verge of retirement on a single year contract, or a clear number 2 driver clearly only there as a back up? That's right it was Daniel, and we all know how that turned out. Not surprisingly Vettel's been a huge push behind retaining Kimi as his rear shield.

36

There is too much needle there from what happened at RBR

Whats this needle you refer to Stephen? From all reports I've seen the two get along fine and are quite complementary about each other and the year they spent as team-mates. Rosberg/Hamilton or Vettel/Webber they certainly weren't!

37

@ Stephen Taylor...some time ago Vettel actually stated that he'd have no problem if DR was in the other side of the garage. Never say never without any meaningful qualification. I offer you the example of Alonso and Maclaren as something to contemplate.

38

Ken, i think if Seb was given the choice, he would choose Ric over Ver. I think there would be more mutual respect between Seb and Dan, whereas i think there will be much less with Max (both ways i would imagine).
In Sebs mind, he has the opportunity to redeem 2014 versus Daniel (not that i think he would), whereas against Max he would have to deal with the spectre of Jos in the back of the garage and the prospect of having to explain away another defeat by another Redbull prodigy.

39

Agree with your sentiments Ken.
ST, I think Ferrari really wanted RIC ..it's just they wanted to keep Vettel more.

40

Good for Kimi and for Ferrari as a team if Vettel stays. But Ferrari don't have the two best drivers they could have as Kimi is not near what he has been! This new contract is a big thanks for the help in Hungary and a move to keep Vettel.

41

Of course Y conviniently forget how Kimi was eluded the Monaco win this Year?

42

Except for he wasn't.

43

C'mon, Kimi has made two good races (Monaco and Hungary) in 4 years! I'm one of Kimi's fans but I have to be realistic, he was blown away by Alonso in -14, blown away by Vettel in -15, even with a unmotivated Vettel in -16 and now in -17 we have to be glad that Vettel drives a Ferrari otherwise we wouldn't have a fight for the championship. Kimi will never be a championshipcontender again and I want to remember him as the good driver he once was. But I respect if you think otherwise and I really hope that Kimi would prove me wrong, but I doubt that...

44

2018 will be Kimi's 8th season with Ferrari, not 7th. At the end of 2018, Kimi will have raced over 150 races with Ferrari, the second most all time, in terms of races with the Scuderia, and races with any single constructor (just MSC ahead, on both scores, at 180).

Personally I think it's time that Kimi hung up his driving gloves and boots, but I understand the forces at play that are keeping him in that seat.

45

Onnea to Kimi on the new contract which goes to show again that Ferrari love their employees that help the team e.g. Massa and Rubens etc

Having said that, the fact that Kimi is as beloved as the team by the fans, this means retaining Kimi was a logical step in terms of merchandise and good PR

Personally, I didn't think Kimi would want to re-sign because you can't tell whether Kimi is happy or not

But I guess, Kimi and Vettel get on well so Vettel must have persuaded him to hang around.

Overall, with Kimi staying in the paddock, the fans look forward to many nice battles between the Finnish compatriots Kimi & Bottas

46

Would be a great turn up if Kimi started the season well and gave Vettel a run for his money ... or even snatched the supposed No1 status from him and forced him to play second fiddle...
Ah, I guess I'm just getting a little ahead of myself there

47

@ Phil Glass

I reckon Kimi would have been able to do this if he were still in his 20s

48

Age has nothing to do with it. He was barely beating Massa(a clear no 2 to Schumacher)

If I am not mistaken he has been beaten by his teammates 8 times i.e 2001(Nick Heidfeld) 2002(Coultard), 2008(Massa) 2009(Massa until his crash), 2014(Alonso), 2015, 2016, 2017(Vettel). Or 7 times if you exclude 2009. Compare that to Alonso 2 times(2007, 2015) Hamilton (2011, 2016) or Vettel (2014)

49

Mr Aaron. I would like to jog your memory.
2001- Kimi outshone Heidfeld and Sauber finished a career high 4th in that campaign and so he was signed for McLaren. If it had been the other way round, Heidfeld would have ended at McLaren after Mika's retirement
2002:- Was new to Mclaren but did so well that most of his battles with Montoya and Schumacher are still aired as 2002 highlights go checkout youtube. Just had one less podium than DC but had a lot of retirements.
2003:- Challenged for the title with a shit car that wasn't capable of winning against Ferrari. Only had 1 win to Michael's 6 and lost my 2 points in WDC.
2004:- Again salvaged Mclaren's pride by winning spa. Kicked DC's candy ass again.
2005:- No need to say anything. This was Kimi's year.Should have been the champion.
2006:- Again took a shit car to claim a pole in the French GP and grabbed podiums.
2007:- Champion.
2008:- Was leading the standings after a pole plus win weekend in Spain and then the ferrari conspiracy happened. Massa did not do shit to beat Kimi. It was ferrari who did those things. From changing his front wing to giving him inferior car setups and strategies. Go check it out.
2009:- When given the support, dragged that shitty car to a win over a more powered Force India at spa and was the highest points accumulator in the second part of the season.
2012:- Finished third. Won in Abu Dhabi. Beat Grosjean's ass.
2013:- Same story as above. Was going to finish 3rd in the championship but missed last few races to finish 5th eventually.
2014:- Ferrari were using Push-Rod suspension and not pull rod which Kimi was accustomed to. Was convincingly defeated by alonso but that doesn't tell us the whole story.
2015:- Beaten by vettel. Was totally his fault.
2016:- Outshone vettel in qualifying 11-10 despite the team favoring vettel
2017:- Has been sacrificed time and time again to give vettel the advantage and that is why Ferrari find themselves behind Mercedes in the Constructor's championship. Has given Vettel two Wins(Monaco and Hungary.)
He used to swipe the floor with Coultard's ass all day when he was at Mclaren and eventually Coulthard had to make way for Montoya in 2005 who was also beaten by Kimi convincingly in both 2005 and 2006(untill Montoya's accident).
So until you get your facts right, please don't share your stupid ass opinions with anyone.
Lately, the disrespect for Kimi has been real and only true F1 fans know that this guy had it him to be a multiple time F1 champion.
Thank You.

50

@ Aaron Noronha

Hmm... This makes for some interesting reading. Well done

51

Standard Ferrari, does anyone else suspect that they are also treating this as a contingency if Vettel leaves? The prospect of one "rookie" let alone two is enough to get Ferrari nervous.

I don't think he will though. I think he would be foolish and even if he wanted to I don't think Merc would have him, Bottas has done enough and hasn't trod on Hamiltons toes. He wont be going back to RB and anywhere else is silly.

52

On the contrary, if they think Sebastian may not stay they will in all likelihood look at signing someone stronger than Kimi; Maybe Daniel or Fernando.

53

I think what this really means is that they've already agreed terms with Vettel but not announced it yet.............

54

Meanwhile, if Vettel fails to win the title, will he rue the decision to have Kimi as a teammate because the majority of Ferrari champions were older than their teammates.

The only Ferrari champions that were younger than their teammates were Ascari, Lauda and Scheckter who all had the common dominator of being hired by Enzo

55

Jody Scheckter is eleven days younger than Gilles Villeneuve... does it make a difference compared to the nine years of age difference between Niki Lauda and Clay Regazzoni? lol

56

@goferet
Did Schekter win the WDC in a Ferrari? I thought he won it in the "wolff" if my memory serves me well, and went to Ferrari as reigning WDC. But I could be wrong🤔 bloody long time ago😊

57

JS won his WDC in a Ferrari - I remember they had him lined up ready to congratulate MSC on his first WDC in red, plus I just looked it up 🙂

58

@C63
Thanks, maybe I should've googled it myself first😄

59

@ C63....You must be old to remember that! hahaha bYou areack from the Bahamas all ready and frisky for the final chukka i suppose? hahaha

60

must be old to remember that

I'm talking about when MSC won his first title at Ferrari - it wasn't that long ago !
Looking forward to the second half of the season for sure - I don't enjoy the summer break in the slightest, although I dear say the teams probably do.

61

@ James k

Oh yes, Scheckter won his sole title with Ferrari back in 1979

62

@goferet
Thanks, I wasn't 100% sure😄 Must be the old age.
I must learn not to question the sites main GP lexicon 😳👍

63

a third is not only, or is it?

64

@ aveli

I would say yes and no

65

am not sure of the exact number of younger number 1 driver who won championships for ferrari but even a fifth is significant let alone a third.
you could expand on both sides...

66

Jody Scheckter was older then Gilles Villeneuve, not younger.

67

He was younger by a couple of weeks. So there was no significant gap in age. There was a significant gap in F1 experience though, with Jody's first full season in 1974, and Gilles' first in 1978.

Gilles could and should have won the title in 1979, but he played the dutiful soldier, thinking he'd have more title chances in the future. As we know, his next chance came in 1982, when he was killed only 4 races into the season.

68

@ Mike

Oh no, Scheckter was 14 days younger than Gilles

69

and how many ferrari champions have there been, for 3 to be only?

70

15. So 3 represents only 20%.

71

even if it was 20%, that's nothing to sniff at.
20% is not only. anything 10% and above is significant.

72

@aveli, we may have misunderstood each other then, by what you label 'significant'.
Significant that even the younger race driver has been champion at Ferrari?
Or
Significant that the oldest driver at Ferrari have become their WDC?
No matter, its all cool. ;o)

73

@ aveli

Yes, since the beginning, Ferrari has had 9 champions

74

in that case 3 is quite significant.

75

Too much safety in this decision. Some of the deadwood needs to be cut from F1. Raikkonen, Massa, Palmer, Kvyat, Ericsson need to be gone. Vandoorne, Stroll need to step up to the plate pretty soon, and even the likes of Grosjean has been around too long with little success in years.

Raikkonen is Seb's lapdog. Embarrassing for a past WDC. I want to see Vettel pushed, but except on rare days he won't be by Raikkonen.

Massa has been comprehensively beaten by his last two team mates, and is barely quicker than Stroll. I grew up with Williams FW07 dominating, and them having truly great drivers over many years, please let them have someone very good driving for them again....

Palmer, unlucky? No, he's just slow vs his teammate.

Ericcsson, I have zero thoughts on him, what's he for?

Vandoorne seems to struggle to adapt, and is not the hotshoe everyone thought. Needs to be with 3/10 tenths in qualifying of Alonso who we know is quick this year.

Stroll, one decent result and good race, but he's still slower than the already slow Massa, needs to be beating Massa this year, but money will talk.

Kvyat seems quick enough, but he can't race amongst other cars, and he's experienced enough to know how by now.

Grosjean is decent but not top level, and he's been around too long.

That's 8 drivers or 40% of the field that are either poor or treading water. Liberty want to spice up the show, part of that should be getting at least hungry drivers into the series. Maybe there are not enough good ones lined up yet, of course money talks too, but come on Liberty, move some of this deadwood on, and get some of the top drivers into top cars - RIC, or VES to Ferrari, SAI to Red Bull?

76

@Pauld Great comment. We want to see the best drivers competing at this level, and I agree with your assessment of who isn't making the grade (although I still think Grosjean at his best could be Bottas-level).

77

Or maybe bring another 4 or 5 teams in to F1, that will give us an extra 8 to ten drivers.

78

Would be nice Axel Knutt, but proximity of new engine formula will stop new teams until then, and even then the lack of budget cap will be a huge barrier to entry.

79

Might be nice to have some of those "top" cars available for those "top" drivers on that list, eh?

80

What ever happened to the discussion some time back where the idea being kicked around was that perhaps teams could have 3 (or maybe more ?) cars on the grid. Foggy as the recollection is, it was probably Bernie and Max that quashed that option or maybe a gaggle of loosely organized teams (?). Am also thinking that Montezemolo, head of Ferrari at that time, may have been somewhat sympathetic to the discussion.

Would provide another 10 seats, should all current teams decide to go that way. Would also provide a method of sorting abilities and potential based on results. Might wreck a lot more cars, too. And then there's the issue of "expense" to throw on the pile. . .

81

Hi Garrett,

Not too late to explore this option either....teams that can field 3 cars then why not. Indy has been doing it for along time. Remember Unser JR, Tracey and Emo at team Penske? Magnificent blend of driver talent/experience.

3 Mercs through 2014-16 would have been quite interesting.

82

It was a Monztezemolo hobby horse so he could have three Ferraris in the field.

83

they can't all win.

84

...if they're not in the Merc?

85

even if they were.

86

Especially if they ain't quick enough.

87

if they're in f1, they're quick enough.

88

Or rich enough.

89

@ Aveli...quick, get on the phone to Gene Haas and let him know.

90

why quick?
do i want a quick rise in their popularity?

91

Great. There is at least one reason to keep watching F1 now. I hope Kimi finds the form he has at the moment from the beginning the next season.

92

I have to say I am a bit disappointed by this. RAI has been off his game for so many years now. He can get solid results and stability matters, which I am guessing are the main reasons behind this decision. The fact that they commit to this prior to committing with VET means that they are not secure yet with VET and this comes to reassure that he will not be challenged next year. All the decision making seems to point to 2019 being the key year for change when HAM will be available and possibly also VER and they sacrifice performance in favor of stability for next year. Retaining the services of RAI in my opinion is incorrect not just in terms of possible performance but also in terms of economics. Being a champion commands a hefty salary, financial resources that could be spend elsewhere in the areas that Ferrari needs to improve (like aerodynamics and engine) and would make bigger impact on the results of both drivers.
I think a driver like Perez would be more appropriate for the second drive in Ferrari, he is consistent and always ready to capitalize on the opportunities he gets. He would cost much less and come with some strong sponsorship from Mexican Telecoms, while also linking again with the latin American followers of Ferrari many of which are in the US, the most important market for Ferrari road cars.
I expect VET will remain but the interesting part is the length of the extension. One year or more??? My guess is that he will get a 2 year extension and Ferrari will secure VER for 2020. I would like to see HAM in red but I don't think he will care for all the politics associated with being a Ferrari driver.

93

Hi Chris
i dont agree fully with you on that
i just to remind u that Kimi out raced and out classed Vettel in the second half of 2016 season. And as for this this season it is true that he lagged Vettel. But bare in mind that he should have won in both Monaco & Hungry where the team stood against him in both occasion. And not to forget also the Bottas ruined two races for Kimi this year. So in nutshell he is lagging Vettel but in reality they should have been much closer.

94

And not to forget also the Bottas ruined two races for Kimi this year.

Yes I think lot seem to have forgotten or are choosing to gloss over this point. He could have easily got podiums in both races and the points totals wouldn't look so unfavourably against him.

He was off the pace in the first few races, but I don't think he's been all that bad since, apart from Canada.

Monaco Ferrari gave Vettel as many laps as needed to jump Kimi who was pitted into traffic. Kimi wasn't given this opportunity in Hungary where he certainly would have won if he had.

Plus he was strong at Silverstone.

Don't get me wrong he's never going to get back to the McLaren/Michelin days but at 37 he really isn't as far off Vettel as many on here are making out.

I wouldn't swap him for Sainz or Grosjean. Ricciardo is probably the only one I'd swap him with out of the current drivers. Wouldn't mind seeing Leclerc in there either.

95

Again factually untrue. Kimi might have outqualifed Vettel quite a few times last year but only considering the 13 races where both drivers finished last year. Vettel was ahead 10 to 3. In fact it was Vettel who outclassed Kimi. Even in the races Kimi qualified ahead, Vettel managed to beat him on race pace alone. On race pace Vettel has 1/10 to 3/10 over Kimi on the long runs depending on the track.

As for this year in Monaco, Kimi dint have pace to beat Vettel. Even if they had first pitted Vettel instead of Kimi he would have still managed to undercut him because he was clearly faster than him in clean air.

As for Hungary Kimi was free to overtake a clearly struggling Vettel. There was no team order for Kimi to not overtake Vettel. Just like Hamilton on Kimi, Kimi was simply not able to do the overtake on track because of the layout of the circuit. And besides why would Ferrari ask Vettel to let Kimi past? Kimi isnt in the WDC contention.

If Kimi wants to beat Vettel he needs to raise his game. Not just over one lap but over the long runs where Vettel is significantly faster.

96

Fair points Yasser. I was comparing Kimi to his Mclaren days where he was a class of his own relative to the later years of his career. He is an ok driver that is stable, but we have not seen any spectacular drives for a long time and the results he has are not only his own, you need to take into account the improved Ferrari. VET is prone to ups and downs as we have seen several times, so definitely some times RAI will be better than him
Thanks for commenting

97

Are you suggesting Ferrari are not spending all that is needed and more to get an advantage ?

Anyone who has followed F1 for long knows that money is the last if at-all a consideration for Ferrari when it comes to drivers. This is a team that does not bat an eye-lid if they lose the constructors championship where a lot of money is gained or lost. This is a team that back in the day did the most in-season testing at it's own personal track.

So the money argument isn't really strong here.

As for HAM and politics, lets just say he is no saint when it comes to "playing" outside the track. So to suggest him cringing at the Ferrari environment is just a bit naive.

98

I think you missed my point nravi. Its all about allocation of resources, which even for a team like Ferrari are not unlimited. How wise or unwise one chooses to allocate them can make or break a team. The decline of performance of Ferrari in the past 10 years in my opinion is a direct result of the ban of the use of Fiorano their private testing track which goes to prove that once you remove a key resource (low in terms of cost for them as it is only a 5-10 kms away from their factory) you need to compensate by taking resources from other areas, making the overall package weaker.
Not sure if you completely understand how difficult it is to operate in an Italian environment, having done it let me just say its particular in many ways which explains also the lack of results for many years with the exception of the Schumacher era where the team was run by a talented group of individuals mostly non Italians with freedom to act thanks to the wise management of LdM.
Thank you for your comment

99

Ferrari want Vettel to commit to a new 3 year deal from 2018 - 2020. Ferrari dont want Hamilton, they want Verstappen, Ricciardo or Leclerc next after Raikkonen/Vettel. When you say Hamilton is available in 2019 you mean Hamiltons Mercedes seat is available for either Vettel if he signs a 1 year extension with Ferrari, Ricciardo or Verstappen. If Hamilton keeps making a meal out of winning a WDC in the fastest car there will be no room at Mercedes or Ferrari in 2019. Hamilton at Ferrari wouldnt work for several reasons but he would be a good fit at Red Bull, they will need a new top driver from outside the Red Bull program soon. With his luck Red Bull will be the fastest car again. I think it will be Vettel or Ricciardo as Mercedes # 1 with Bottas or Ocon as teammate from 2019.

100
Torchwood Mobile

@tina - you might be right that the Ferarri team does not want Hamilton (I have no idea either way), but Marchionne would. He spoke in glowing terms of Hamilton, earlier this year.

101

Redbull wont spend millions on its development program and then take an outsider to fill the seat unless they have no driver ready to join the senior team. Last time I checked. Riccairdo, Max, Sainz & Kyvat are still around. People may dismiss Kyvat but he did beat Riccairdo in 2015. So you see Redbull is spoiled for choice. They wont spend 30 million on Hamilton or Alonso or even Vettel when they can have their own drivers for 1/3 of that amount. So Hamilton to Redbull is a definite 100% no

Hamilton to Ferrari is a definite possibility, he loves the brand. They love multiple WDC's. He hasnt burned any bridges leaving his old team's(if he were to leave Mercedes) like Alonso. If Vettel were to leave for Mercedes in 2019, I would expect Hamilton to replace him.

As for your opinion about why Hamilton wouldnt work at Ferrari for several reason, i could counter that with why it would work for several more reasons.

102

Gutsy call there.

103

when did Ferrari announce which drivers they want and don't want?

104

Kimi is has peeked at McLaren, but he still can be pretty fast. Besides other options such as Perez, Sainz were not that convincing IMO.

105

Carry On Kimi. That's put a lot of noses out of joint.

Neither Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean will be on the F1 driver's Merry-Go-Round again, and Carlos Sainz Jr is going to have to have a good and very tidy 2018 if he expects to be considered for a seat at Ferrari when a place becomes available.

All the other drivers in the frame can carry on dreaming, they might just come true.

106

Disappointed to see RAI retained. As an F1 fan there is little there I find engaging. Without results or electrifying track moments, there is little to compensate from his aloof personality and his behaviour with the media is tedious.
A fresh face would have been far more exciting. Top F1 teams with "journeymen" or dedicated #2 drivers are pushing me away from the sport. there isn't enough competition as there is!!!

107

Obiously You slept at this years Monaco F1 race!

108

Even the last race

109

good job raikkonen! he certainly used his hungarian grand prix performance to good effect..
i suspect ferrari's next announcement would be a 1 year's extension for vettel too...

110

Noooo! But no surprise here. Whatever spin one puts on this Kimi has tacitly agreed to be a subservient Number 2 to Vettel - boring! Kimi no longer has the raw speed to truly compete. A waste of a top seat - it would have been great to see Sainz or Perez there.

111

Will we see Leclerc in the Sauber next year? Then a Bottas-Leclerc pairing at Ferrari in 2019 with Vettel moving to Mercedes.

112

leclec hasnt even raced in f1 yet. new drivers like verstappen occon werlein and co are yet to show us more excitement and yet so many are calling for new drivers? raikkonen is faster than most of the new drivers and deserve his seat. how's vandorne doing against alonso? vandorne smashed numerous gp2 records on his way to that championship by the way.

113

@dren
What about a Hamilton/ Leclerc pairing🤔

114

@ James K...What about a pairing of James Allen and Zac Brown?

115

😂😂. Good one Kenneth.
But I wouldn't throw it away just yet. As James has said, he could see Danny Ric going to Merc. That's also a possibility. It all depends on Vettel.

116

@james K...Why don't i see Daniel as a Mercedes driver? For some strange reason, maybe it's the 'italian connection', i see him as a future Ferrari man. What ever happens in "19
@ JamesK....Why is it that i just can't see Daniel in the Mercedes frame? I'm pretty damn certain that he would do an excellent job no matter where he is but Ferrari seems to me to be his 'spiritual' home. Maybe it's the 'Italian connection'. A naturally sunny disposition combined with a large amount of deadly intent. One can only hope that he is not destroyed in '18 by the blatant favouritism endowed on Verstappen which is becoming all the more obvious each and every day.

117

@james k...Something is going badly with my I Mac...very a strange.

118

@kenneth
No problem😄 I like reading things twice!
But your right about DR, I have always thought he'd be more suited to the reds.... but then again, I can see him in a Merc to👍🏻

119

I still believe Lewis will go to Ferrari in 2018 to try and achieve an World title with a third team.

Question is, will Vettel replace him at Mercedes ?

120

@monza
Lewis is contracted to Merc until the end of 2018

121

wolff attended vettel's birthday party a couple of months ago and when hamilton was asked about it he sheepishly responded, "that's the dumber question i have ever heard".
i suspect there is a lot more to that story than meets the eye.

122

The key here is that he attended the party post the Baku incident! Definitely a lot more than what meets the eye !!

123

Not many can meet Wolffie's eye!

124

yes gravity, as well as hamilton's sheepish response to that question..
i initially thought he was being rude to the journalist for previously questioning his preparation for the british grand prix, but he had his head down during his response...

125
Kevin McCaughey

Well, that's going to create a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth for several other drivers.

126

It's a sad fact for the rest that the very best drivers get to choose who they drive for. Alonso being the exception because of his past behaviour outside the car at both McLaren and Ferrari.

127

Unfortunately, he doesn't know when to keep his trap shut.

128

Seems to be catching....

130
Kevin McCaughey

I see reference to HAmilton saying he would end his career at Mercedes, but I also remember a quote from him saying he wanted to finish at Ferrari. Maybe Ferrari have an agreement in principle for Lewis to come to them and this is all just a matter of time?

131
Kevin McCaughey

There is no way Lewis is quitting anytime soon. You can tell from the way he drives that he is in love with it.

132

for hamilton and everyone for that matter, f1 is about showing that you are the fastest. so until he is constantly being beaten, he doesn't need to quit!

133

And the British press even contemplating that Hamilton could retire after this year?!? Go figure...

134

all the british press?

135

@ Cyber....Hahaha...No chance.....he likes to strut the stage too much. they'll have to get a boathook out to drag him off.

136

Haha, yes also what I would think @Kenneth! ;o)
Knowing the British tabloids, they might have been desperate running out of other made-up gossip this summer. But they appear to sell no matter.

137

....or offer him a couple of days off in Greece??

138

James,
Best guess on the length of Vettel's next Ferrari contract? Will Ferrari play hardball and say it's a firm three year deal or nothing?

139

It doesnt matter, Vettel has a pre contract with Mercedes. Thats why Mercedes is waiting until Singapore to renew Bottas contract. Because after Monza they know if Vettel has signid a 1 year extension with Ferrari or not. Ferrari will have no problem with Vettel only commiting to one more year as alot of the other top guys like Ricciardo and Verstappen will be available in 2019. A one year extension should suit Vettel and Ferrari.

140

@ Tina.... Now you've got me intrigued...how do you know that a pre contract between Vettel and Mercedes actually exists? Are you an F1 insider or perhaps a legal advisor to Vettel ? Or do you just 'think' that a pre contract exists? Surely you must also be aware that Verstappen has a Red Bull contract that also covers '19 as well. Now we are all aware that contracts can be bought out but that cannot be assumed to be a given ATPIT.

141

If Ferrari only wanted Vettel for one more year, the deal would have done and dusted 4 or 5 races ago.

They want him for 3 years but he wants to sign on only for one year to judge if Ferrari can indeed keep developing and fight for titles in the future. As for pre contracts. I am sure Lot of drivers have pre contracts signed. But these contracts are at the discretion of the teams and drivers and most of them are never exercised

142

Ferrari seems to be wanting lot more than a one year contract from Seb. Otherwise, they would've closed this lot earlier.

143

@ Gravity....They already may have? Raikonnen signed his deal many months ago...it just wasn't made public.

144

Well, you might be right! News about Vettel is the last one to come out as he does his negotiations himself!

145

if a one season extension is good enough for raikkonen why not vettel?

146

@ Aveli....think about it. If Vettel wins the WDC this year they will want to keep him on for some time to milk the results. Raikonnen isn't going to win the title this year or any year into the future. IMO that is.

147

does what vettel wants not count?

148

A contract can't exist without two signatures!!!

149

Fact.
Nobody wants Alonso.

150

@ Deweberis...Fact or fiction?

151

That may be, but it doesn't stop it being crying shame that he's not in a top team anymore... I really do hope Honda can sort things out, and that he doesn't leave F1. He's completed wasted where he is at the moment.

152

Not true. I am sure if Vettel is locked at Ferrari and Hamilton retires, Alonso will be the driver they would sign. As long as Hamilton is at Mercedes they will not sign him. Similarly as long as Vettel is at Ferrari they too wouldnt sign him.

Renault isnt going to spend 30 million on Alonso unless they are sure their car can fight for the WDC.

And Mclaren have gone out of their way to even allow him to race an Indy 500 race just to keep him happy. So Mclaren clearly still want him.

153

Is that true?

154

I would have him alongside Vettel. That would put fear into the opposition.
It would be a nightmare to manage, the fireworks would be dazzling!
But this is F1, and F1 is big business. Ferrari are really boring, but it is the correct business and philosophical decision. Yawn.

155

Now that would interesting to watch!!!

156

Renault does.

157

is alonso not married?

158

Married Alonso is not.

159

How I do love checking out the the latest in the back of the ALO garage!

160

@ LKFE...likewise. he has superb taste when it comes down to it. What a lucky guy eh?

161

Good grief, such a lack of imagination. Obviously a sop to Seb, at least for now. Or maybe he has embarrassing photos of the Ferrari hierarchy? Goes to show, talent isn't everything.

162

Congrats to Kimi.
He has out shone Vettel at times. Sadly Ferrari have played Kimi like a puppet and dumped him in traffic to get Golden Balls ahead of him.
I assume it'll be another year of guarding Vettels rear from impending competition from the likes of LH DR VB MV FA .
Ferrari dare not put someone like Ricciardo in a Ferrari seat as Vettel would cry his heart out.
Ricciardo would whoop him until the cows came home. 😆

163

If Ferrari believes even half of what you're saying, then they wouldn't be doing this! Obviously they value Sebastian a lot more.

164

Ferrari going all out to give Seb a stable environment?

165

This is just another example of why it's so hard to support Ferrari sometimes. They have a somewhat competitive car for once in a long time.. and they choose to rehire a guy who is clearly not of the highest calibre anymore. So should we feel sorry for them if they lose a championship or two after the fact. I won't, they'll only have themselves to blame. As for Kimi he's had a great life... imo he's just a hair better than Massa now but through aloof appeal has maintained some likability and it's allowed him to make millions. Think about all the headlines featuring Kimi in recent years... I can't remember one that featured his driving. It's all about one liners or grunts. Good luck to him. Bwoah.

166

as ferrari stands to lose anything if you didn't feel sorry for them..
they are in a much better position to decide to continue with raikkonen or not.
whenredbull signed verstappen so many fans complained about his age and now they are complaining about younger drivers not getting a chance.
just enjoy watching the sport, why don't you.

167
Kevin McCaughey

I have to refute this. On his day Kimi is absolutely masterful. He is solid, and would have won a couple of races this season if it wasn't for team orders and tactics. He always looks a bit crappy in practice, but when the race comes he is lethal. I think he just had a couple of unmotivated years but this year he has found his motivation and his pace. My guess is they will hold him there until Seb goes to Merc and then they will get two new drivers in.

168

The problem with that analysis is 'his days' are not as frequent as they should be.

169

Decent 2nd driver I suppose

170

the best possible...after all he's a world champion with the most fastest laps.

171

Interested to know about the "most fastest laps" bit... you mean most fastest laps during his WDC season, or the total fastest laps of current drivers on the grid? Sorry tried a quick Google, but couldn't get an answer.

172

the highest number of fastest laps in races redline.

173

@Aveli - wow, that's a fact that probably escapes a good part of F1 fans...! I've always rated Kimi, but now a tad more 🙂

174

Aveli is right...

Even in the F2008 that he couldn't get to grips with in qualifying he would always be faster than those ahead of him during the race. I remember Singapore '08 he was outqualified by Massa and Hamilton by a fair margin but once he got his tyres heated up in the race he begun reeling them in. Then the famous fuel hose fiasco happened and that was that.

175

Didn't he put it into the wall there? That wouldn't have helped either.

176

Yes. After his race had been totally ruined from waiting in the pit lane behind Massa's calamitous pit stop for about a minute meaning he spent the remainder of his race stuck behind slower cars he did in fact put it in the wall. Well pointed out, he was on for such a great result before that 😉

He actually clocked up another fastest lap in that race, a lap he set in the first quarter of the race which no one could better.

177

raikkonen has long been known for that. in his maclaren years, he set most of the fastest laps and carried that through to his first ferrari stint. he couldn't do that with renault, on his return because the car wasn't fast enough. he is super fast! no question about that.

178

out of the current drivers.

180

Danny Ric will look good in Red in 2019.

181

If only.

182

Amen brother!

183

Alongside Hamilton in red...now that's a dream team.

184

The timing of this announce seems rather odd for Ferrari.

It seems that this has announced now, with a view to help Seb make up his mind quickly in Ferrari's favor, so that Ferrari have its complete line up confirmed at Monza. Or it may mean, that the Seb decision is going to happen much later in the year and they already know, they cannot confirm their full driver line up on the Monza weekend, and hence no point delaying Kimi retention.

185

Maybe they just like to keep everyone guessing...great fun for the Scuderia.

186

That's the right decision, a young beginner had not managed the pressure to be a Ferrari driver!
Furthermore, Kimi has shown that he accepts to be number two, as he showed in Hungary. In the interviews after the race, he sounded like a polished politician!
If Ferrari had allowed, Kimi had won in Monaco and Hungary!
Will be interesting if Kimi qualify best at SPA, before Vettel, than Ferrari will do what they did in Monaco, a very strange pit stop for Kimi!

187

Ferrari has a clear cut option, Seb's points are double than Kimi, so no brainer, full support for him. You don't get on 5th because of two races.
Playing second fiddle does not hurt Kimi, he is an amazing person.
Merc is different, the two drivers are quite close, one race can switch the places. Let's be honest, Bottas has surprised all of us, including Lewis.

188

@ Alan F1...If Vettel cannot wrest the WDC from the 'die vaterland' then i would like to see Bottas take the silver and run. He's certainly surprised me as i never thought that he'd do so well but then again, given a rocket to drive it was there to take.

189

Yea, Seb, Valteri, and Lewis, that will be the preferred order. Joking.
Will see, I see Mercedes the better car, and for sure the best one for the second part of the season. It is Valteri or Lewis to lose the championships.
Luck will play bigly, hope VET is the chosen one for the win.

190

@ Alan F1 Yes, much to my dismay it seems as the weight of opinion still favors Mercedes to take the WC's. It is hard to say otherwise. I listened the other day to an interview with Windsor or Scarbs [ i think it was them] who said that with a minimum of 1500 people, possibly as high as 2000 even, beavering away to run and maintain the Team they should be the single most advanced team on the planet and I don't doubt that at all. I am ever hopeful that Ferrari will pull something out of 'wherever' to snatch victory. That would be a fitting end to what has been a pretty one sided affair for four years.

191
Tornillo Amarillo

Fantastic how Kimi manages everything his way!

But for F1 fans it's difficult to understand a racer who doesn't want to race to win when he could... and that is sad.

192

Ferrari does have some balance after all. And, in spite of what some "fans" seem to feel, he's done a heck of a lot for them lately - and probably plenty more than most of the rest of the grid could have. Well done, Kimi !

193

What a curious team Ferrari are, aren't they? Is there any other team who hires no. 2 driver based solely on no. 1 driver comfort? It's just incredible that Ferrari as a general rule don't pay much attention to WCC title, I guess they just get too much money from F1 for just being Ferrari. I'm hoping it's going to change after 2020. It's not that I think Raikkonen is a seriously bad option, but they could have anyone if only they wanted to.

194
Stevan Vasiljević

I was disappointed last year when I heard that Kimi would drive for Ferrari 2017, and now I am disappointed even more to hear he will continue into 2018. And I am a Ferrari fan, and Kimi is my favorite driver! Unfortunately he is not that fast anymore and he should be replaced. Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Perez or Sainz would be much better choice, however from marketing point of view, I guess Kimi is better choice as he can sell much more merchandise than all those combined. That also must have been a point Ferrari had to consider.

195

those considering introducing autonomous safety car to f1 should consider other racing series, not f1.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=2eGumLqAihI

196

The story as it goes here in Spa is that Ferrari for several months have tried to get Vettel to sign a new contract. All ready and dusted, just missing Vettel to sign it. A 3 year deal worth around $140M. But that was not enough for Vettel to want to sign it... Allegedly he has demanded that his good friend and teammate Kimi Räikkönen got offered an extension to his contract also ($6M for 1 year), before Vettel would consider signing on to a new contract with Ferrari. With this now signed with Kimi Ferrari should now be in a position to complete the contract renewal with Vettel.
The silly season may after all become less silly. But clearly there will be less seats available for when the music stops. Leclerc though destined to go to Sauber, after the Ferrari engine deal. Too bad for Wehrlein as though better than Ericsson, Ericsson brings the money from the TetraPak money-man that saved the Sauber team from financial ruin.

197

Are you on the 'inside' there, at Spa?

198

A 3yr deal... Vettel is taking a big gamble there!

199

when will he sign that gamble?

200

He did already just after Kimi signed his.

201

I'm glad Kimi's been been given another year as he's one of the last of today's old guard. I do wonder is he being kept on though just to keep Vettel happy as an enticement to keep Seb driving a red car. I wish we could see the old Kimi that battled with Schuey almost to a WDC and those incredible drives in that horrendously unreliable McLaren in 2005. Alas I think we all know those days are behind him now but he does still put in some great performances when that Ferrari is hooked up the way he likes it.
I just never imagined that Kimi would ever be a no2 driver.

202

Ferrari clearly given up on any constructors championships then, because they definitely are not going to win it while Raikonen is their second driver. A great personality, a great team player, but simply not quick enough

203

Serious question: Do you think its easier for the current Ferrari team to win a WDC or WCC? Personally I would focus on the one with the greatest likelihood...

204

Yes, they have historic contract they dnt need WCC but WDC 😂

205

Pretty much all but confirms Leclerc will jump in at Sauber next year and Wehrlin will be looking for a new seat before the music stops. Ferrari Junior > Mercedes Junior.

Ericsson is safe thanks to his friends having a controlling stake in Sauber, even though he really shouldn't be in F1, he's done absolutely nothing...

206

Looks like Kimi is cashing in his man's card to drive the halo cars.

207

Go Kimi!

208

Clearly a good choice as Kimi is still very fast. He is just being outclassed by the outstanding Vettel.

209

Must admit I'm a little surprised at the news - from Kimi's point.
Judging by Kimi's recent reactions to the team seeming to move things around in order for Seb to be higher placed he understood what was happening - why sign up for that again?
Why not go out on his own terms and on a semi high? - or does he really like the media commitments...

210

There is always an incentive to top up the superannuation whilst having a good time driving fast cars....and the, at times slavish, attention of all his fans. Why would he decide to leave? Obviously Ferrari are happy to have him on board because there are many others who could provide a back up if it was needed. I am not a particular fan of Raikonnen but he does fill a role as 'gatekeeper' and that can, sometimes, be interesting to watch.

211

is kimi not allowed to do what he chooses with what belongs to him?

212

Errr, just what is it that belongs to him? He's just another employee of the Scuderia, albeit a well paid one.

213

err...kenneth...the word "downunder" is only a figure of speech. it doesn't mean excess blood rush to your brain.
as far as you and i are concerned raikkonen owns himself, his career and his time....or doesn't he?

214

Its a shame our Damon never went to Ferrari. He's such a nice bloke they would have kept him around for 6 or 7 year at least.

215

Damon should be put out to pasture. He reminds me, every time he's part of the Sky commentary team, of someones aging aunt!!! Combine that with his blatant, and sometimes embarrassing, crush on Hamilton and it doesn't make for exciting viewing and unbiased reporting.

216

with schumacher around?

217

Damon was an exceptionally good talent. He nearly took an Arrows to what would be a shocking win in Hungary 1997.

218

Damon was good but can never be considered one of the greats when you look at the 95 season the car was the best on the grid and he was beaten with almost ease by schuey. He one in 96 as schuey had moved over to the red team and it's safe to say that car was a dud. Damon one that year with easily the fastest car on the grid and even with a dud schuey still manages to be competitive taking 1win that season with a number of retirements and multiple podiums giving both Williams a real fright, schuey finished third which was an outstanding achievement considering. Damon won that season in the no1 car but was pushed hard by his rookie teammate who obviously won next year again with a really intense battle with a dud Ferrari again driven by schuey.

Damon was good m8 but never great and never Ferrari potential, he reminds me of Rosberg snr who was ok but not great but managed a WDC not through his grit and determination but because reliability was so bad on the other cars which would with no doubt beaten him otherwise. I take nothing away from Keke he turned up done his job and the team theirs and the other teams didn't, but we can't call him a great as he really wasn't great okay. Keke was never great ability wise and never top team material but you can't take anything away from the man and that is how I feel about our Damon good on his day but never going to be remembered for anything great except from us Brits who love him.

219

I'm happy that Kimi has been signed for another year. I just hope they allow him to win another race or two before retirement. He does have the pace, at least occasionally.

220

"Raikkonen’s sole world championship title was won in his debut season with Ferrari in 2007."

Alonso might join Ferrari in 2019 -- and Kimi's championship title will be the last one for Ferrari in these two decades.

221

Welcome to sustained mediocrity!

- F1's drivers' market in a nutshell.

222

Well that is a very safe and boring decision.Seb got his way again

223

With four WDC's comes a certain amount of persuasion......

224

Good news as a Kimi fan would have gone to Montreal to get an autograph as its probably his last season despite the s#it engines. Now we will have the halos so will pass and find something else to do with all the time I dedicate to follow F1 waking up at odd hours in the morning, reading all the articles possible etc.... Probably my last season as a F1 fan. F1 seems to give the fans hope that things will get better then keep making it worse and its a never ending cycle one step forward two backwards. Bring back V10's, light weight cars, 20,000 rpms! The way things are looking for F1 is not appealing to be honest.

225

Boring, boring, boring. With such a great disparity between the top two teams and the rest, the only way to inject excitement into F1 before the next rule changes is to swap the drivers around a bit. Kimi has been around far too long, he takes the money but takes no chances. In his day he was a very exciting driver to watch, now he is a steady Eddie! Riciardo in a Ferrari would keep more fans watching F1 and mean more points for team Ferrari. If Vettel was not brave enough to take on DR again then somebody like Sainz would have been a good fit. Ferrari I am not surprised, but I am very disappointed.

226
Tornillo Amarillo

James, why Ferrari is not buying SAINZ?
Is it just because Ferrari only wants Verstappen? A one or two year contract had been the solution, but it's not really in the radar. Why, why & why?

I think this article is the shortest ever...

227

Here's the Juice: Of course I'm happy Ferrari retained Kimi for 18
His total number of fastest laps ranks 2nd all time to Michael He's got cool charisma, a huge fan base and is obviously very savvy politically When he retires he'll have the second most Ferrari drives all time behind Michael And he is still fast..watch his pole lap at Monaco Furthermore there's nothing wrong with supporting a teammate who is been designated number one It's happened many times in F1 Still after gifting 2 victories to Seb this season already you have to wonder if it isn't tormenting the racer we know Kimi is

228

I am surprised to see so many here taken aback by Ferrari's decision to keep Kimi in the team. I always thought they would for what it might lack in speed nowdays is well compensated by his being a team player and a good car developer. A pre-Spa announcement is well timed as well. Kimi has a tendency to do well here and he will get extra motivation from that new contract.
I am certain that Vettel will extend his stay with Ferrari as well and I am betting on the confirmation of that being done shortly before or during the Monza week end. How long an extension is where the surprise still exist.
Ferrari post Enzo, have shown to be a loyal employer to their supporting drivers, Barrichello, Massa and now Kimi, are fair samples of that. I personally appreciate that in a team. Marc

229

If Vettel has a side agreement with Merc, can he hold out until he has won the WDC with Ferrari. If he wins, does he then continue with his shopping list to win titles with 3 different teams.
Is all of that predicated by what Hamilton does? Does Hamilton retire if he wins and gets to 4 WDC's? Does he retire if he doesn't ? Or does he push on regardless? I imagine if he wins that might be a good stepping off point, but i also can't imagine what his motivation levels would be like if he doesn't?
Can Vettel hold out until he learns what Hamilton is doing?

230

@ LKFE...You pose some interesting observations there. I really can't see Hamilton doing anything other that sign on for another three years with Mercedes. It is my contention that Hamilton 'puts it out there' for one reason and one reason only. It's his platform and his show. Nothing wrong with that at all. The point is this, where does he get the ongoing global exposure that he obviously craves should he pull the plug ? He is a performer and the biggest thrill successful performers get, apart from humungous salaries, is adulation of the masses. It is their oxygen supply. He probably enjoys the driving as well so long as he can keep the lid on Bottas!

231

Ken, i agree and disagree...i think the issue is his motivation. As a casual (and un-obsessed) observer -he seems to only thrive when he's under the pump. These days it seems that he almost needs all the drama (whether it's on track or off) in order to get the best out of himself. No drama = no adrenaline = no performance.
His place is unique on the grid in that he sets himself apart (above) from all the other drivers -it's almost like he's not racing them, but rather racing himself or racing against a perceived disadvantage, or racing against the history books.
As long as he can keep generating the drama he needs to get himself up for a race -i guess he'll stay, but once he beats the few remaining records, and if the merc continues to be as dominant as it has been, then i can imagine him dropping it all to go and DJ in Ibiza.

232

@ LKFE....as the psychologist said to his patient. 'Do you have problems making decisions?' To which the patient answered 'Yes and No'. Hamilton will, IMO, [which seldom bears out any resemblance to reality] pull the plug if he is consistently being beaten. That's hard to see ATM because i feel as though Mercedes will not allow that to happen. Bottas was not supposed to be as strong as he is and he was not supposed to challenge Hamilton so successfully despite what Mercedes have said publicly. Bottas was always going to be a stopgap until Hamilton decided his future...that is why there has been no comment on Bottas's future. I still think that Hamilton's flaky under certain conditions and hopefully Bottas can throw out a challenge if he's allowed to.

233

Made my morning! Kimi remains Ferrari's last WDC and he still has speed in him to fight for a 2nd WDC. Ferrari should play fair and let the drivers race. Kimi still has many, many supporters/fans who dearly like to see him back on the top step of the podium....given the chance.
Will be scheduling my holidays to attend as many races as possible for Kimi's 2018 campaign.

234

I think kimi is an insurance policy for Ferrari in case if Vettel leaves. I personally think that Kimi must have left paddock with dignity this year, he is getting old stil fast enough but not a sensation like Mc'Laren days perhaps X or Y factor behind it. But it is good for Ferrari I already mentioned it before that, Ferrari has a technical and racing agreement with him. He is helping to develop the car in different dynamics, and he has a very good relationship with Vettel. Both of the situation (if Vettel stay or leave ) Ferrari cant get better than him.

235

Same story every year. Kimi always seems to step up his game mid-year and Ferrari renew their faith in him each time. It's uninspiring and an underperforming option. Don't get me wrong, i love the guy! but this is just painful to watch each year!
I guess ferrari REALLY loves it's team harmony.....

236

As a lover of Kimi and his antics I find it disappointing that Ferrari has extended his contract. He has been lackluster for LONG. Very long. Look at the gap in points between him and Vettel. Sure he was taken out a couple of times, but that's usually cause he's not on row 1 or 2. No excuse for him not to be in the Top 4 AT LEAST in the driver's standings.

To me it's like they have given up. No drive, risk, competitive edge, living on the wild side. Get a talented youngster with experience in there. Winning the driver's title is great, winning both titles is more better! And in this day and age for a driver to take the title he needs his team mate to take point off his rivals - not make up the numbers.

237

Danny Ric should be in that car. There was no chance of that but it would've been great fireworks.

238

Vettle needs a one year deal. He can't get caught with one of the faster guys as teammate in 2019. I guess Alonso will get a one year with Mclaren as well. The silly season this time next year will be insane.

I'm sure everything until then will be very boring. (Not)

239

There's a wider theme that interests me about this (unsurprising) announcement. Basically, it completes the transition of Kimi from F1's angry young man to quiet elder statesman of the sport.

There was a time, in his McLaren days and even during his first Ferrari stint (once the initial euphoria of his 2007 title win cooled), where he almost couldn't wait to get out of F1. He hated the media work, the sponsor work, the travelling, he wanted to go rallying, Ron Dennis controlled him too much etc. etc. He was also, during most of this time, very fast and competitive.

Now, he seems happy to re-sign year after year, turning up and doing a job, hoping to pick up a win here and there, without quite the speed of old. I reckon there's three reasons behind this:

1) He realised the grass wasn't greener on the other side: he had a go at rallying but found the experience more difficult than expected. It made him appreciate what he enjoyed about F1 (the driving and racing). So, he returned. Fair enough, and credit to him for having a go at something different.

2) He has matured. We all mature (well, most of us). I guess now he's more willing to put up with the hassles around F1 and he seems more settled in his life. He's re-married and got kids now too so he seems in a good place in his private life too.

3) His media commitments and sponsorship commitments are fewer, so he is doing F1 on his terms more now. There is a fascinating element to this, because it has arguably come at the expense of his competitiveness. Almost as if he's been willing to trade off some of his competitiveness and winning races for quieter life (e.g. fewer commitments, more time enjoying himself etc.). This is an uncommon attitude in F1, I'd imagine. And it's even less common for someone to prosper in the sport and keep getting new contracts with this attitude. I guess it shows both the talent he still has, and the way he fits into Ferrari (apolitical, knows the team, can support Vettel but won't challenge him).

Well, that's my take anyway. Is it a fair assessment?

240

I am a kimi fan but I think he is hanging on too long. I worry that his career will end with a whimper like other drivers in the past. eg Barrichelo, Alesi, Button, Patressie to name but a few.

241

James, how's your view on Kimi?
Eric Boullier and James Allison seem to be fans of Kimi, how come?
You remember, Doctor Hinsa after testing, he thought Kimi was one of the most intelligent drivers he met, is that right?

242

Whilst I feel it's a shame that the young new drivers shan't get a seat yet - keeping the Iceman is a good thing. Continuity counts, and Kimi's experience (and speed) is the wise but predictably safe choice from Ferrari.

243

In my opinion was a smart choice. KR is still quick, he is very good at developing the car, he is very into Ferrari mindset and overall he ain't no drama queen. I don't see any of the hopeful drivers being a solution; Grosejan is fast but fragile, Sainz is showing lately that he is not material for a top team; Perez is reliable but must show some more... Ocon is right there if not quicker lately. To me the only driver who makes sense to Ferrari is actually Ricciardo if and when available. He is fast, very smart, very reliable and can learn Ferrari culture quickly. A Verstappen is an amazing driver but not sure it will go well with them; mentally he is very similar to Alonso. Also bear in mind that Hamilton might pull a Rosberg sooner than later to Merc so MV is their logical solution. HAM is having fun so far with the new cars and VET battle, but the moment he feels bored again he will pursue other interests (he gave me the impression to be very close to that as well last season). When Ferrari has a new experienced driver (DR in my opinion) then they can put in a Leclerc (Giovinazzi is very fast but a little concerning with the last showing that he cannot survive Ferrari pressure). VET will stay at Ferrari btw, he wants to be like Schumi.

244

Well said pbrnrd, right to the point. About Ricci...
Ricci is Ferrari material, no question about that, not sure Vet wants another fight with Daniel. Despite all said, the two guys are no friends. Mentally, Daniel dominates Vettel, in fact many other racers, Ricci is a pure bread male, a bit red neck too.
It is not about DR beat Seb, I don't trust 2014 results. It is a uncomfortsble relation for Seb, a guy capable bringing four championships in a row, a tested superstar, so no point vitriolling Ferrari environment with an alpha male as long Vettel can deliver success with a good car.

245

i rate raikkonen highly and have a great deal of interest in what he does and says so i'm glad he signed to stay at ferrari and hope he stays for 2019 too. but raikkonen has the reputation of just turning up to drive the car. he doesn't like to get involved in development of cars. he said this himself "drivers are there to drive the cars. drivers are not engineers" so i don't know where you get your idea of raikkonen being good at developing the car from.
pay more attention and you will notice that he's the last to turn up and the first to leave most media events. he's known for eating an ice cream in a rain interrupted race, knocking over a kid in his haste to get away from the pits and not saying much to journalists..he is simply super fast and may even be faster if he engaged more with behind the scene activities.

246

Aveli: I don't think any top team will retain a driver just because is super fast.... it is simply not enough. Ferrari particularly wants not only drivers that have shown to be race winners but preferably WC already (Massa was an exception to the rule). If a driver is mentally "lazy" or not engaged and cooperating with the team will be sacked. But it is not just my opinion on Kimi. Read this interesting link about his perceived technical skills by people from the paddock: https://kimiisland.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/rating-kimi-raikkonens-technical-ability/ . And, in my opinion, he got better at that in the Lotus years and now even more.

247

thanks for the link pbrnrd but i read that at the time of publication. i'm not suggesting that raikkonen is not good at developing the car or communicating with his engineers. it is suggested above that he was retained because of his development skills. which believe not to be the reason. raikkonen was first hired by ferrari to when he showed that he was super fast at his maclaren days. even schumacher retired because he was scared of raikkonen's speed. and he was not a champion but just fast! he was paid to sit out of f1 while they entertained alonso at ferrari. he was then hired again from renault because he repeatedly demonstrated his speed. he has been resigned because he's super fast and easily agreed to ferrari requests without a fuss. no other reason. i also have the sneakers suspicion that your thought doesn't influence ferrari's decision.
raikkonen must be good at communicating with his engineers to be able to set his car up to go as fast as he drives it but he's not like others who held design whole components like the steering wheel for example...

248

In fact the drivers and engineering issue was said by Adrian Newey too, so Kimi is quite right from his point of view.

249

That does not mean that his feedback are not crucial. It was pretty clear that the grown up version of KR (the one we saw from Lotus days to now) has been very accurate on what he wants the car to be. He is absolutely peculiar in the way the front of the car and the steering must be (while Vet suffers instead if he cannot push the rear as he wants). Ferrari knows very well KR. If DR will be available in the future they will take him for sure (even if he is not a WC yet). Otherwise they will go to Leclerc but not before 20.

250

Good post.

251

That comment was in relation to that posted by 'pbrnrd'....not Aveli's.

252

Nice 😉

253

Kimi is the perfect representation of how F1 fails to get the best drivers in the best car. His form in 2004 and 2005 was the best of those two years, but he ended up winning in 2007 when he was the third best driver.

Since then I have never felt he has had the machinery to match his talent, and thanks to Ferrari's one top driver policy he will never have the stats to match his actual skill level.

254

Contract signed.Ferrari fridge stocked with choc ices and cornetto's.
Lets go racing somewhere near the front!

255
Tornillo Amarillo

Kimi signing means...
Perez is stuck in Force India,
Sainz is stuck in Toro Rosso,
Grosjean is stuck in Haas,
Verstappen is stuck in Red Bull,
Alonso is yet more stuck in McLaren.

In this chess Merc has to do the next move: If Merc hires Vettel, they destroy Ferrari's hope of winning next WDC. I would do it.

256

I think this just highlights the stark contrast between Alonso and Raikkonen. Kimi was forced out of Ferrari a year early and still left on good terms with no ill will. Alonso on the other hand seems to always leave a team on bad terms ie... McLaren/ Ferrari. I have always read he is political etc... But, I don't see the need for him to have the team back him solely vs his team mate or force issue of being number 1. When if he just performs at his highest level it would happen anyway. The Spanish/Hispanic drivers seem to shoot themselves in the foot ie.. Alonso, Sainz, and Perez in a arrogant/ entitled attitude. Possibly taking the self belief too far? Alonso with his controversies, Sainz with his recent spat with Red Bull and Perez in Montreal and his McLaren and Sauber days. James what is your perspective on this and how drivers attitudes can greatly contribute to how far and successful they are in F1. Does Kimi know how to play the game best? He seems to know that if he wants to win and be on good terms with the team he has to out qualify Vettel hence his huge disappointment at Monaco. Then no being upset in Hungry because he lost the win in Qualifying in the unwritten rules at Ferrari. Kimi has the discipline to hold second where if any one else would have overtaken Seb in Hungry which is probably what got him the new contract I feel like.

257

Unsurprising. Kimi's driving a bit better than last year and really, no one is yet giving Ferrari a big enough incentive to rock the boat.

258

hamilton said he's here to stay.
no wonder he has fofo on his car.

259

Ferrari just announced SVettle signed 3 yrs contract.

I said it before no way LH will be welcomed in Ferrari..due to his antics offcourse

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