Ferrari confirm Raikkonen will stay for 2016 season

2016 F1 season

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Ferrari has announced Kimi Raikkonen will remain at the team in 2016.

A statement issued by the team on Wednesday said: “Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has renewed its technical and racing agreement with Kimi Raikkonen.”

“The driver line-up next season will still consist of the Finnish driver and Sebastian Vettel.”

Raikkonen said that being able to remain at Ferrari “means that the dream goes on”.

“The Scuderia is my family, as I always said, it’s here I want to end my career,” he added.

“I am more committed than ever and I want to say thank you to the people who gave me this chance. Also, a big thank you goes to all my Ferrari fans, for their continuous support.”

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said retaining Raikkonen will “provide further stability to the team”.

“This has been our guideline, also considering the very good relationship between Kimi and Seb,” he added. “On our side, this shows our great confidence in him, and I expect this confidence to be well rewarded.”

It will be the sixth year at the team for Raikkonen, who won the world championship in his first year as a Ferrari driver in 2007. He was dropped by the team at the end of 2009 and rehired at the beginning of last year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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110 comments on “Ferrari confirm Raikkonen will stay for 2016 season”

  1. In case you are wondering, that there, despite all the mocking and scathing remarks, puts Verstappen in the seat for 2017. Guaranteed.

    1. Would Vettel agree to Verstappen joining? I can’t see Max wanting to play the traditional Ferrari number two role …

      1. If there is one thing I know about Verstappen and especially his father, is they are (way) over-ambitious. I think Max will feel he can beat Vettel: I think his father thinks so too. Whether or not he can, is not up to me. Also, and this is more speculative, I think Max and Jos really want his sons name in the recordbooks forever, and at Ferrari, youngest podium, youngest fastest lap, youngest winner, maybe even youngest WC… all possible. Plus the prestige that comes with it: Jos wanted to drive for Ferrari his entire career.

        1. Well, if he keeps progressing the way he is, definitely a possibility! And about that number two role: in the end it should be the best driver enforcing the nr.1 status!

          Max has a long long way to go. He can basically drive F1 for the next 20 years. Just imagine, Max joining Ferrari at the age of 19 with only 2 years of experience in F1.
          But let’s focus on the 2nd half of the season first and see if he stays at STR or is promoted to RBR next season.

          I believe Max will continue to improve in the 2nd part of the season and will consistently outperform Sainz. If he manages to do just that..

        2. And this despite comprehensive evidence to the contrary, especially in Jos’ case. I remember him as being a pretty disappointing driver, for the most part.

          Sure he was mostly in mediocre to poor cars, but in 106 starts he managed just 17 points, or an average of one point for every six or seven starts. He was also extremely accident-prone, earning himself the nickname Vercrashen, and other than his stint at Arrows and the second half of his season with Minardi, when both he and his teammate both finished in the same event he was usually outperformed.

          And Max looks to be repeating that formula. In the four times he and Sainz have finished, Max has been beaten three times by his teammate. And of his four retirements, two were caused by his own mistakes. Sure, Sainz has four retirements too, but all four of his were caused by technical issues, not his driving.

          Thanks to our current points system, Max has already outscored his dad. Were he laboring under the same points system from which Jos scored all of his own, though, Max would currently have just three points to his name. (And those scored in no small part thanks to the safety car, not to mention Verstappen punting yet another car.)

          The record books say that Jos wasn’t a great racer — in F1, at least — and that his son looks to be headed down the same path.

          1. Not that it is relevant in this topic, but comparing Jos to Max atm is incredibly harsh on Max. Max is considered by many the biggest talent in the sport right now: even if you disagree, he is far and away miles better than his father was.
            And to your first point: ey? Do you think I said that Jos thinks HE could beat Vettel? Or are you referring to the final comment? Because it may well have been a pipe-dream, but considering McLaren and Benetton fought over Verstappen pre-94, not that ridiculous.

          2. I hope you’re wrong. Jos is a hothead and only provided 50% of Max’ genes. His mum was a very talented karter.

          3. @hahostolze

            Max is considered by many the biggest talent in the sport right now

            That’s selling a lot of talented racers short.

            As for a proper verdict on Max – despite his predilection to ‘go for a gap’ his lack of experience shows through in his attitude and his race craft. The Monaco smash-up was 100% his fault and not only was a it a result of a brash lack of respect for another driver, he even called out Grosjean for brake-testing him.

            Come back in 2-3 years and then talk about whether Max is good at the moment. At the moment, he reminds me of someone playing Geoff Crammond’s Formula 1 Grand Prix with the F4 key on*.

            * – a reference for the oldies.

        3. @Hahostolze
          ” I think Max will feel he can beat Vettel: I think his father thinks so too. ”

          I dont think only Max and his father think so…..I think so to ;)

    2. No, it doesn’t.

    3. Or they could get someone with a proven record like Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Bottas or whoever.

      1. If they wanted that, and they had ample time, they would have done that for next year. No reason to take Kimi again if they are convinced any of the names you mentioned would be a worthy successor.

        1. Not necessarily. Ricciardo and Bottas have all contracts for 2016, so this could mean simply that Ferrari wants any of them, but doesn’t want him enough to pay for the contract-breaking clauses/conditions, plus the loss of Raikkonen’s marketability.

          For 2017 that shouldn’t be a problem.

          1. That is true, I guess it is a waiting game, just there is a LOT of smoke recently about Verstappen to Ferrari 2017 and guess I am hoping there is fire too.

          2. There really wasn’t. It simply depends which outlets you frequent. Much more was said about Bottas, Ricciardo and Hulkenberg (in that order). Remember, it got that bad that both Bottas and Symonds had to publicly ask the press to stop making questions because it was distracting the team.

            Verstappen is a relatively recent one, probably thanks to the boredom and the hole of news caused by the summer break.

          3. For the record I’d love to see a (more experienced) Verstappen (and/or Sainz) in Ferrari. Or any front team for that matter, they surely are exciting and very talented drivers.

          4. Oh, hell yeah, there was. Apart from the Dieter Rencken article (who maintains it is done, basically) there are any number of well informed journalists who are convinced it will be Verstappen. If I could include links here I would link to three or four tweets that are clear as can be.

          5. Wow, “any number” and “three to four” tweets. Wow.

        2. With that said, I don’t see them picking Ricciardo. It wouldn’t unnecessarily bother Vettel, who is central to their restructuring, and they seem pretty happy with Vettel so far.

    4. It’s not clear MV has even been the best of the two Toro Rosso drivers so far. In fact if I was Ferrari and if I was told my choices were limited to Verstappen or Sainz, I think I’d go with the latter, based on what we’ve seen so far. Perhaps Max will take a big step upwards next season. Then again, perhaps Sainz will.

    5. Unless the new management has changed drastically Ferrari’s mentality, they aren’t the kind of team to recruit a driver with so little experience. Massa was the only recent exception, and that was mainly for two reasons: he had been a test driver for Ferrari before, and they wanted another Brazilian driver after Barrichello’s departure.

      1. Back in 2007-2008 there was a lot of rumors about Schumi talking Ferrari people into signing Vettel (before he was in Toro Roso during his testing time in Sauber), but RB strong contracted stopped this, if you believe the rumors.


        Vettel was a test driver for BMW Sauber the past two seasons before moving in to replace Scott Speed at the Red Bull b-squad last year, coming in an impressive fourth place at the Chinese Grand Prix. Reports suggest that Vettel is still contracted to both BMW and Red Bull, but that’s not the end of it. Rumors are now circulating that he could be called up to Ferrari –Toro Rosso’s engines supplier – next season. Although most reports are indicating Vettel could replace Felipe Massa

  2. As I suspected. I guess it is Hulkenberg to Haas then.

    1. I must say, I am immensely disappointed with this decision. Ferrari are ranking continuity over progress, and are needlessly putting off the inevitability of having to replace the Finn. One excuse the Scuderia does not have the luxury of is a lack of credible candidates. Bottas, Ricciardo and especially Hulkenberg could have all improved on Kimi’s floundering consistency in 2015, and this will a salient point when we are discussing the same three drivers as candidates for the same seat a year from now.

      Had tragedy not intervened, it is doubtful that Ferrari would have been quite so cautious about promoting Bianchi. Ferrari do appear to have an increasingly blinkered culture when it comes to driver decisions: they are quite clearly ranking association with the Scuderia as at least an equivalent factor to on track results. On that basis, would Kimi have got the 2016 seat if Bottas, Hulkenberg and Ricciardo were performing as they are, and were members of the Ferrari Driver Academy? It is extremely hypothetical I know, but somehow I doubt it.

      And that is why we can expect Hulkenberg to announced at Haas. With Ferrari having no truly credible young proteges in the pipeline (Marciello has plateaued spectacularly in GP2), and with Raikkonen’s retirement remaining an inevitability, Hulkenberg has got a great chance to put himself in pole position for a Ferrari drive.

      1. I share your disappointment but I feel you may be overlooking the role Vettel might have played in the decision. Maintaining the status quo for next year suits the German perfectly. Even if Ferrari management didn’t consult Vettel directly, they would know that hiring Ricciardo, Bottas or Hulkenberg would risk destabilising him during a crucial season for the Scuderia.

      2. Part of their strategy. It’s likely they prefer to invest in a specific (Max or Sainz) long-term driver in 2017 instead of signing a new and available drivers for 2016.

      3. @countrygent

        One excuse the Scuderia does not have the luxury of is a lack of credible candidates. Bottas, Ricciardo and especially Hulkenberg could have all improved on Kimi’s floundering consistency in 2015,

        I assume that Ferrari, already having one star driver delivering, wasn’t asking themselves if any of them would do a better job, but if they would do a better enough job to justify paying the contract-break-clauses (for Bottas it was reported 20 million…), besides losing Raikkonen’s marketability, which is huge since he’s insanely popular.
        While I think the three are extremely talented, neither of them has had a particularly spectacular first half this season, certainly not good enough to justify throwing lots of money for them to come.

        1. #1 That does not account for the fact that they are paying Raikkonen upwards of $10,000,000

          #2 Hulkenberg has no contract for 2016 – he was pretty free of charge

          1. @countrygent They are paying that under the current contract. We’re talking about next year here :)

          2. they do not have to pay Kimi ANY money if they just wouldn’t take up the option Albert.
            And its unlikely that Bottas would get as big a salary right off the bat.

          3. @bascb I meant that most likely they cut Kimi’s salary for 2016.

      4. One excuse the Scuderia does not have the luxury of is a lack of credible candidates. Bottas, Ricciardo and especially Hulkenberg could have all improved on Kimi’s floundering consistency in 2015

        They’re not available for next year. And it’s also debatable how much of an upgrade they’d be on Kimi in any case, given that many of his poor results this season have been down to car issues.

      5. Ferrari just don’t switch drivers that much. And what would be the point?
        Upsetting Schumachers heir? Getting two Germans? Or a Fin who gets beaten by massa? Or setting him up with an Australian who smiles but doesn’t seem to be a future champ?

        Kimi smokes. The packages of Marlboro have been altered, they now resemble the Ferrari-Marlboro even more.

        And his fanbase is B I G

      6. SpinningPlates
        20th August 2015, 3:47

        I love Kimi but he’s a shadow of his former self, and Ferrari know it.

        2014 proved Vettel was average, but the marketing department looking for a second Schumacher would rather keep him happy, than actually have another great driver like Hulk finish off his reputation once and for all.

      7. Its a bit like them keeping Massa despite his form for several years IMO @countrygent. I do understand them not wanting to pay Williams a huge sum for Bottas (from RBR statements, i figure Ricciardo would have been expensive too), but surely Hulk was readily available?

        Maybe it was just that they keep with their philosophy of having one driver “driving” the team and not wanting to upset the balance by having another one there who has the ambition to beat Vettel?
        Yeah, decision to play it safe is never very exciting.

        Lets hope Ferrari do have a plan for Hulk to integrate him into the Ferrari “family” as you mention.

        1. @bascb It is like the decision to retain Massa for 2013 when he was badly underperforming midway through 2012 – there were clearly alternatives on offer – Perez, Hulkenberg, di Resta even Kobayashi – but again continuity was given precedence and the inevitable decision was delayed a year.

          Ferrari made it quite clear that Bottas was their preferred candidate (which is confusing in of itself – if they purely were looking for performance Hulkenberg is clearly the better option) but a year from now he may be swallowed up by Mercedes before Ferrari can get to him – Toto clearly sees him as the natural successor to Rosberg.

          For the Hulk the choice is clear – give up and race a 919, or have one last stab at the seat that should be his with Haas. I simply don’t see the point of another season at Force India.

    2. Phahaha, you guys should really stop with this Hulkenberg to Haas nonsense, it’s killing me :’)

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      19th August 2015, 18:00

      Honestly, I think he’ll race in WEC next year and not F1. Very disappointing but it’s probably the right thing for his career now to leave F1 behind and move on. He can either spend the rest of his career in uncompetitive cars or can go on and be a Champion. I know what I’d do.

      1. @petebaldwin, it has to be said that would only work if there was a team in the WEC who were prepared to kick out one of their existing drivers in order to accommodate him – teams normally only run two cars during the season, and third cars are normally only used at Le Mans because the regulators deliberately provide incentives to do so (providing double points and extending the points scoring positions to the third cars, when normally third cars are ineligible for points).

        To be brutally honest, if I were Porsche I would probably promote Bamber to a full time driver over Hulkenberg. Many would say it was Bamber’s stints that won Le Mans for Porsche, and he is technically adept too – I actually think he would be the better driver for Porsche’s sportscar program at the moment.

        With regards to the names that were mentioned, it is worth asking why they have not been considered. Whilst Bottas’s name has been mentioned, I do not think that his performances have lived up to his reputation – I do not think that he is significantly outperforming Massa, nor does he give the impression that he is really leading the team either.

        As for Hulkenberg, part of it is the fact that I do think he has tended to put in his better performances at the wrong times of the year – i.e. after the contract talks are usually held.

        However, we also know that Ferrari have, on more than one occasion, opened talks with Hulkenberg, only to then shut down those talks when they could sign Kimi. Hulkenberg is one driver whom they could probably have performed the most objective comparison against, since Sauber were providing Ferrari with technical data from Hulkenberg – which would seem to suggest there was something they saw in that data which they thought was a negative point (whether we would agree with that is another matter).

        As for Ricciardo, the issue there seems to be that Red Bull had a completely watertight contract with him and were not prepared to let him go at any cost, suggesting that he wasn’t really on the market to begin with.
        There are some suggestions that the only reason his name was being mentioned wasn’t because he had a realistic prospect, but simply to encourage Kimi to drop his salary demands by suggesting there was another viable candidate for his seat – it’s not the first time that has happened in the sport.

    4. Hate to say it, as I’d have liked a change at either Ferrari, Mercedes or Williams – but I think Hulk should stay put as well.

      He’s more likely to be a nuisance in the Force India than a pain in the Haas.

      1. @bullfrog: that’s very funny mate….:)

  3. This means that there will be little to no change in the driver line up’s for nex year. Bottas will stay at Williams, and Hulkenberg will most likely stay at Force India, although he could move to Haas. The seats at Lotus, Toro Rosso, Red Bull and Sauber seem secure. The only thing were waiting on is Button or Vandoorne for McLaren next year and Haas’ driver lineup.

  4. Presumably this means that Bottas will be staying at Williams and Jenson won’t be making a fairy-tale return to the team he started out with. A shame: I would liked to have seen him at Team Willy once more.

  5. I’m surprised, though not too much. He’s insanely popular, after all, so after a price cut (which he surely did take) it makes sense from a marketing point of view.

    There’s also the point that nobody has truly excelled this year, other than Hamilton (not leaving) and Vettel (already there). Bottas has not beaten Massa convincingly enough, Hulkenberg had a couple of weak races at the start, Ricciardo has been spectacularly unspectacular, Verstappen and Sainz are too unexperienced etc.

    While I think that most of them would have done a better job than Raikkonen, I assume Ferrari thought it wouldn’t be better enough to sacrifice the marketability of Raikkonen.

    1. With Kimi at 37yrs old already I’m thinking this is a stop gap until Sainz or Verstappen get some experience. We heard Bianchi was suppose to be a future driver, so now they must be looking elsewhere for young talent.

      1. Those 2 are too young. Bottas is still more likely than anyone.

      2. And why would they look at Red Bull’s (contracted) drivers when they have their own stable of drivers working their way up the ranks?

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      19th August 2015, 17:53

      How can you say Hamilton has excelled and yet Hulkenberg hasn’t because he had a few weak races. Hamilton has had weak races as well! Personally, I think Hulkenberg has shown this year that he deserves a top seat. If he doesn’t get one this year, I fear it’ll be the last we see of him in F1. He’ll move over to WEC and win Championships there instead.

      1. What Hulkenberg did that was so spetacular? A couple of good races after Lemans, and that is all. And if he moves to WEC, it does not guarantee anything for him.

      2. How can you say Hamilton has excelled and yet Hulkenberg hasn’t because he had a few weak races.

        I think you just have to look at the qualifying and race results to make that educated guess.

        Lewis made a hash of Hungary, but that’s one race out of ten and he still came away with a bigger lead over his main rival. Merc have admitted that they’ve identified ‘faults’ with the starts on both cars (whether they’re hardware, software or procedural is unclear) so I don’t think we can necessarily 100% blame Lewis (and Nico) for the sloppy getaways of the last 3 races.

  6. I’m surprised. Raikkonen is clearly past it, and has not done much to prove himself worthy this year. Or maybe Ferrari just wants a number 2 driver.

    1. A luxurious nº2 driver. This is Raikkönen nowadays. Why annoy Vettel with the team-mate that beat him over a season, or with a new Flying Finn? That could end up in tears. Raikkönen makes easier for Vettel to win titles. Another smart decision from Arrivabene.

      1. As much as I’m a Raikkonen fan, this is true.

        Also a bit of stability after throwing Massa and Alonso out surely makes sense.

    2. “clearly past it”? Is that why he’s fifth in the WDC with more points that Hulkenberg, Verstappen, Perez and Maldonado combined? No big thing, just saying… and on the downside, he’s only got half the points of his team mate, and barely splitting the Williams. But still, “clearly past it” is perhaps a little harsh.

      1. @paul-a you can’t be serious. We’re talking about a guy that has the 2nd best car in his hands, a car which won 2 races on merit this year. A car that’s much better to the ones Verstappen, Perez, Maldonado and Hulkenberg use.

        How can you compare to them? you’ve got to compare him to Vettel, who has wiped the floor with Kimi, just as Alonso did it last year.

        It’s been 2 years since Kimi beated his team mate on a regular basis. Grosjean was also having the better of him in the latter part of 2013.

        It made sense to drop him. He IS clearly past it. Kimi’s best years ended in 2007. 2003-2007 were his prime.

      2. @paul-a Raikkonen has the 2nd best car on the grid as Fer no.65 said. Hulkenberg and Verstappen have bad cars. Perez and Maldonado are bad drivers, but also have bad cars. You cannot compare Raikkonen to any of these four. In 2014, Alonso wiped the floor with him. In 2015, again he is losing out, this time to Vettel, who came off the back of a disappointing 2014. IMO, Raikkonen’s prime was 2003-2005. Hard to judge Raikkonen on 2006 because his car wasn’t great. Raikkonen was lucky to win the 2007 WDC, and only because McLaren, Hamilton and Alonso kept tripping over each other and Hamilton was unlucky in Brazil. Even Grosjean had the edge on him in the second half of 2013. Face it, Raikkonen is past it and needs to retire soon.

        1. @fer-no65 and @ultimateuzair — please read what I wrote, that “clearly past it” is perhaps a little harsh [my emphasis]… I picked four other drivers, not for their, or their cars’, quality, but because mathematically their combined points are less than Raikkonen’s. I also said quite clearly that he had only half the points of his team mate, Vettel.
          As to whether or not he should “retire soon”, there’s all sorts of considerations to look at. Maybe at his age, reaction time has slowed by a few hundredths, which over a lap adds up to e few tenths — but can this be balanced by his obvious time and experience in F1? I’m uncomfortable on finances, but he’s obviously an “asset” to the sport in general. But one thing stands out: Ferrari are the only team that is still around since I first became a fan of F1 in 1950. Italian “red” was not as good as “British racing green”, but they have survived, I take my hat off to them, and if they want Raikonnen, I’ll trust their decision.
          Again, the phrase “clearly past it” is a debatable overstatement.

  7. I’m more interested in James Allison’s situation. His contract is also up for renewal, and some (probably nonsensical, gossip-makers, scapegoat seekers) Italian outlets reported that he wouldn’t be renewed because Ferrari wasn’t beating Mercedes.

    While that would be an insanely dumb thing to do, I want to be sure he’s staying. Just in case.

    1. I think the BBC said his contract was renewed over the Hungary weekend (less than a week after rumours started about his contract *not* being extended), but I’m not finding any written confirmation of the fact.

    2. That would be a very Ferrari thing to do.

  8. I’m a bit disappointed, but also not surprised. I feel Raikkonen has lost his touch in 2014. Maybe he’ll find it again, but I suspect he won’t.

    Raikkonen will be 37 by the end of next season, and it pains me to see a driver being kept for so long, while their recent performances do not justify it. There’s so much talented drivers outside of F1, that now have one less seat available to get into F1.

  9. Honestly a complete non story. Kimi is a shell of himself like Button and is just hanging on.

    1. Button still has some form left in him. The cars he has driven since 2013 have been rubbish. He still convincingly beat Perez and Magnussen in 2013 and 2014. McLaren have screwed him over. I agree with you on Raikkonen though.

  10. I like it because I want Kimi to stay in F1. But I’d also like to see what would happen with the drivers’ market if Ferrari hadn’t re-sign him.

  11. Quite disappointed. Not that I hate Kimi; it’s just I’d rather a young gun got the opportunity…

  12. Brilliant!!! Give me some more Kimi :)

    Great news and I hope Kimi does his usual magical race at Spa to celebrate the occasion.

  13. Quite surprised. Really thought it was game over for Kimi. Naturally this means the driver market’s going to be a bit dull now.

    On one hand, super happy – always been a fan of Raikkonen. I do think he’s not quite at the level he needs to be anymore, even if he’s still one of the better drivers out there. This year’s been rough luck-wise for him.

    On the other, sad. I think giving the seat to someone like Hulkenberg or Bottas would have been a better choice – both drivers, especially Hulkenberg deserve a car worthy of race wins.

  14. Yes! Fantastic news!

  15. Als predictied by Anyone Who knows Ferrari even a little…

    1. Predictable, conservative, don’t-want-to-upset-the-lead-driver Ferrari, you mean?

  16. Bad news…

  17. Good decision in my opinion. He’s upped his game the last few races, especially Hungary. I can’t see him going beyond next year since he’ll be 37 so this may be Ferrari buying time until some of the young talent gets some experience.

    1. Of the “last few races” was Austria, where he made a silly mistake on the first lap and accidentally took out Alonso. Another was Canada, where he made the same mistake as he did last year. The other was Silverstone, and I don’t remember much about that.

  18. Kimi is a good driver, and despite the several blunders this year has proved his pace is there. Perhaps Hulkenberg or Bottas could achieve a little more, but Ferrari may not want to be tied to these drivers for a long time in case someone who is a better option arrives. Kimi can fill in the one-year hole, and his successor must be so much stronger in Ferrari’s eyes that it pays off both in the long term and in the next two years. Imagine Hulkenberg: he might improve Raikkonen’s tally, but fall short to someone else’s, who Ferrari are aiming for 2017. Verstappen, as mentioned before, Sainz or someone else. They can’t do like McLaren in 2013 with Perez, and are waiting either for added maturity in their next driver or for their contract to expire. While Ricciardo might also be a better driver at the moment, his appointment would block another driver from joining in the near future.
    This looks like there’s not much hope left for Hulkenberg. Maybe Ferrari think he isn’t that great? He has certainly underachieved his potential due to his machinery, and would deserve many podiums, but perhaps he isn’t the next Schumacher Ferrari are aiming for. And let’s stop talking about Ferrari’s new “two roosters” policy when Raikkonen has fared as well [badly] as Massa did when partnered to Alonso. Kimi is also a World Champion, and Massa at the time was highly regarded and almost champion himself, and only time determined the “second driver” classification.

    1. You must be watching another Kimi. His pace has been poor compared to his teammate. He made a silly mistake at Austria on the first lap and repeated a similar daft mistake at Canada. He has been singularly uninspiring this year.

  19. Not a surprising move. There is no quality, experienced, and available driver to drop into Kimi’s seat if they let him go for 2016.

    So renew his contract for a year. Then at the end of 2016 they’ll have a much better crop of candidates to chose from. Perhaps Bottas will live up to his billing next year. Perhaps Ricciardo or Grosjean will be available and driving well. Perhaps one of Kvyat, Verstappen or Sainz will have shown enough in another season to make picking them up worthwhile. Perhaps Vergne will impress while driving for Haas. Sometimes the most sensible decision is to kick the can down the road and make the real decision later.

  20. Kimi has got to start delivering, I think he has had poor reliability and issues which haven’t helped, but he still hasn’t really challenged either Vettel or Alonso. I think Hulkenburg deserved the chance if Im honest, I think has proven on multiple occasions to be a great driver. I hope that Mercedes replace Rosberg with Hulkenburg, Alonso, or Riccardo, simply because it’d make F1 more exciting.

    1. HulkenbErg. BERG. BEEEEEEERG. :)

      Also, I read somewhere that Ferrari wasn’t too keen on the idea of having two German drivers, from a marketing/branding point of view.

  21. Did not expect this but good news for Kimi fans like me as I couldn’t see him staying in F1 if Ferrari dropped him.

  22. Great decision by Ferrari. They’ll continue with the second best lineup in F1.

    1. Ferrari’s line-up is not as good as that of either Mercedes or McLaren. Both drivers in these teams perform strongly pretty consistently. Vettel does at Ferrari; Kimi is erratic and unconvincing.

    2. petebaldwin (@)
      19th August 2015, 17:58

      Yeah 2nd or 3rd best I’d say. Shame they’re not trying to be the best but I suppose that reflects in their performance over the last 10 years – very good but never the best.

  23. As a Raikkonen fan I’m happy he has been retained. As a Hulkenberg fan, not so much. Kimi has already had a more than good F1 career, and it is looking increasingly likely that Hulkenberg is never going to get a shot in a better car. It will be a shame if that is what happens.

  24. I’m torn between shedding a little tear for the team I used to love (and learned to dislike) and laughing bitterly in disbelief.

    And then, I’m getting angry. So many promising talents out there (Hülkenberg and Bottas, to cite only the most prominent ones), and then they choose a driver who has repeatedly proven his lack of speed, a tendency to give away points with sloppy mistakes, and the bad habit of blaming the team for his inabilities. It’s infuriating.

    Dear Scuderia, you suck.

  25. I’m not surprised at all.

    Kimi still does have the pace. Yes he doesn’t reach his potential most of the time in qualifying. Yes he makes too many mistakes. And yes the team also made errors which have cost him points. But ultimately he can do a decent job, especially in supporting Vettel. Team harmony is good. Development and feedback together with Vettel is said to great. And if Allison can give Kimi an even better, more stable car next year, then who know what will happen. Also his tire preservation is almost second to none. The potential is still there, he just must start delivering. The very same can be said about Ricciardo and Hulkenberg so far this season.

  26. Less surprised now than I would have been a month ago.

    But just as disappointed we won’t get a bit of musical chairs in the top seats.

  27. My take on this : all the media nonsense about his seat in 2016 affected his on-track performance.

    We’ll see a much stronger Kimi in the second half of the season.

  28. So there will be no changes at least 6 teams
    Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams, Sauber, Toro Rosso

    Also think is a matter of time to Force India confirm both drivers will remain.
    All the silly season will turn over Haas and Manor then.

  29. Great choice by Ferrari. Next year they will have a better possibility to choose another driver.
    Raikkonen is very popular and i’m certain that Ferrari gave a good look on that matter.
    Hulkenberg had no chance on that seat, i don’t understand why people continue to say things about that. As predicted his win in Lemans (where he was good, but not the best of the trio) didn’t make any difference on how F1 sees him. I don’t think it’s the end of the line for him, i believe he has a remote chance of driving for a top team in the future, but for that he got to do somenthing special, al least a podium finish. After all Serio Perez has 4 in F1, including one with Force India. I believe he has to try hard to get that seat on Hass, because Wolff wants Wherlain on Force India and i don’t believe Vijay will let Perez and his sponsors go.

  30. Ugh. Haven’t we had enough of him yet?

  31. This is the best news for F1 and Kimi fans alike. The best thing for F1 is to have charactars like him around who speak their mind and also have no qualms about showing emotion. Much rather prefer this over cold blooded individuals who have spent a lifetime being boring – not taking names here.

    I feel Kimi still has the passion to perform and is hindered by issues some of his own making and some out of his control. He deserves another shot and we want to see him roar and sign off in style by atleast supporting Seb in a title quest.

    Well done Ferrari – you kept our interest alive and irrespective of what some fans think Kimi still rocks and has a few aces up his sleeve !

  32. I think this is less to do with kimi and more to do with vettel. Ferrari is now Vettel’s team and Ferrari want to keep him happy. Kimi and Vettel are genuine friends and both know how to develop a car, and I believe if Kimi were to start beating vettel occasionally, it would affect Seb less than if another driver were to beat him. As much as I would’ve wanted to see the hulk in the other Ferrari seat, I don’t think vettel would have been very happy, and let’s be honest, kimi isn’t a bad choice for a “number two driver.”

    1. @swindle94 While I doubt that was the reason, I think it definitely played a role. It would make little sense to upset/stress Vettel when he’s performing excellently and getting along great with the team. The importance of good atmosphere and team spirit should not be understated.

    2. if Kimi were to start beating vettel occasionally, it would affect Seb less than if another driver were to beat him

      Webber beat him occasionally. It never seemed to cause Vettel to crack up. I’m not sure where this theory that Vettel needs to be coddled originated, since he strikes me as one the tougher-minded drivers in F1.

      1. Webber beat him occasionally. It never seemed to cause Vettel to crack up. I’m not sure where this theory that Vettel needs to be coddled originated, since he strikes me as one the tougher-minded drivers in F1.

        Last year. Though it wasn’t representative of Vettel’s form, neither did Ricciardo beat him “occasionally”, but “frequently”.

  33. Wise decision by Ferrari. They still need to develop the car further to catch Mercedes and even engineers from his relatively inexperienced McLaren days praised him for his feedback. I’ve no doubt Ferrari will ask him to test drive commercial cars long after he’s retired from racing, read a great article called “The Ants Are Still Dead” to see why. That said, it’s painful to see him performing so badly on race weekends, and even though I’m a Finn I can’t disagree with bringing in a younger and hungrier driver to replace him when the car becomes championship worthy again.

  34. I think their are likely two principal factors underlying Ferrari’s decision to retain Raikkonen, notwithstanding his disappointing performance over the last year and a half.

    First, the team harmony which results from his pairing with Vettel. It’s no secret that he gets on well with Seb, which must must be easier to manage, and better for morale, than say a Hamilton/Rosberg dynamic. Plus Ferrari seem pretty comfortable with having a clear number one driver, as evidenced by their having retained Massa for longer than his performances justified. Indeed it’s easy to see parallels between the retention of both the Finn and the Brazilian.

    Second, involvement by manufacturers in F1 is ultimately a branding exercise, even for Ferrari (their F1 heritage is one of the reasons they don’t undertake any conventional advertising). From their perspective, and that of their sponsors, the decision is perfectly understandable. Far better to have the most popular driver in the sport, even if his undoubted talents are on the wane, than his relatively anonymous compatriot.

    I would much prefer to see the second Ferrari seat go to a Bottas or Hulkenberg. Nevertheless, I wasn’t surprised by today’s announcement.

  35. Ferrari could have done worse. Some folks love to bag on Kimi, but there are already other drivers on the grid who do not have his talent or skills. I believe Kimi will surprise some people over the rest of this season and the next.

    Could be Ferrari would like their next driver to gain additional experience at Haas or elsewhere. Before the end of next season their potential future drivers will have more time to show their skill levels and contractual availability will become more clear.

    This decision shows some maturity on the part of Ferrari. The desire for continuity for next season and for the future in picking their next driver. Meanwhile this will be popular with some fans and unpopular with others. Clearly fans do have some credible reasons for having doubts about Kimi while others just seem to love beating up somebody online.

  36. Well, that certainly shuts down the Silly Season for this year. Not nearly as interesting now.

    I’m a Kimi fan so in a way I’m happy…but I don’t believe Kimi is as good anymore so I’m surprised as they could do better. Maybe Ferrari decided they didn’t want to spend $15M to buy out the Bottas/Williams contract. I think from that perspective, it’s a wise decision for the boys in Red.

    What? It’s not like they won’t have drivers lined up to take the Ferrari seat next year and they can spend that extra $15M getting ready for next season’s car or even 2017 spec car and a new driver lineup to win the title again.

  37. Makes sense for Ferrari. 2016 is going to be a repeat in terms of Merc dominance as the regulations will remain the same. So it would be wasteful for them to pay millions to cover a contract breach plus the drivers salary.

    I believe the drivers they wanted for 2016 were under contract for that year and would be too expensive to poach for no real benefit. 2017 they could just sign Bottas, Hulk…or whoever they use. Although it will take the new driver at least a season to adjust to Ferrari.

  38. Like Dieter Rencken from allready said….the real key to this Silly Season is not Kimi but Verstappen. Rencken said that it would be Kimi that would renew his contract with 1 year….and that Ferrari is targeting Max Verstappen for 2017. You can find the article here……
    I quess Rencken was spot on with this one.

    Verstappen to Ferrari in 2017? Sky mentions it today ;)

  39. Kimi must bring a fair bit technically. Vettel seems to like him and the engineers do seem to as well. They have made huge strides with the feedback of Räikkönen from 2014-2015 which only helped him. A steady choice for stability.

  40. With Kimi sorted for next year, I cannot see many changes for the better placed teams for next year now……possibly Palmer replacing a Lotus driver, as he seems to have some good backing….well he talks like he has..

  41. I’m very glad to this! :)

    1. +1 @ Kimi has won at Spa four times….

  42. I’m starting to wonder if there’s something true in those Verstappen rumors. On one hand, I find extremely unlikely that Ferrari based their short and long term strategy on the prospect of a rookie with 10 races on his back (and not all of them impressive).

    On the other side, who knows? Three of the last four champions have been extremely young drivers, so maybe Ferrari decided to go ahead and catch the talent themselves earlier this time. Considering they already have an experienced 4-time-world-champion, they can allow themselves to take more risks this time.

    While I’m still no buying it, it would be a ballsy move from Ferrari, one I’d really want to see.

  43. Im not surprised with this decision. Ferrari are on the right track and to start changing drivers isnt their priority considering the have Vettel heading the team. I think Vettel had a bit of a say on it as well. Maybe they could snatch a Verstappen once Kimi leaves

  44. As a fan of Kim I’m happy for the news. I agree that his performance at Ferrari has been disappointing and below expectations. But I don’t believe that he suddenly lost the ability to perform after 2 strong seasons with Lotus. I hope he can get the car more to his liking and show us again how fast he really can be.

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