Raikkonen to drive again for Ferrari

Lynette Rowe
August 25, 2017

Finnish veteran Kimi Raikkonen believes he can still win races and fight for Formula One championships after agreeing a contract extension keeping him at Ferrari next season.

With Mercedes top of the constructors' standings and Bottas having won two races and finished on the podium in the past five grands prix, Hamilton expects the line-up to be retained next year. "I think it's closer than you can see".

That could also be said of Ferrari's second driver Kimi Raikkonen, a four-time Spa victor, who has been confirmed on the team's roster next year.

The glories of Spa and the temple of speed that is Monza, which follows next weekend, notionally invite Mercedes to demonstrate the full potential of their vehicle and if not take control of the title race then to eke an advantage heading into the long haul, seven-race run to the line in Abu Dhabi at the end of November.

"It will not be easy for us, as Mercedes has the horsepower, but we will do what we can and who knows?"

"Lately it's been a bit better, we've been feeling a bit more comfortable and been able to drive as we want and obviously the result suddenly looks a bit better", said Raikkonen.

"Without stating the obvious, I know he doesn't want to be my team-mate".

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With Red Bull's drivers running different levels of rear wing, Max Verstappen's RB13 proved the quicker of the two and he was fourth behind Valtteri Bottas, who struggled to match Mercedes team-mate Hamilton throughout Friday. "It is nice to see the team is appreciating his work and I am happy to work with him".

"But I'm always game to race whoever it is and racing against the best drivers is always a great thing". So I don't believe any of the bosses are unhappy with what is now in place. "He wouldn't have the position he is in now in terms of how his team operates if he was here".

Asked by Sky F1's David Croft if he feared unreliability could hamper his title bid, Hamilton said: "I don't".

The race may also be affected -- as often in the past -- by the capricious micro-climate of the region, which can mean parts of the track are under water in rainfall while others remain dry.

"I think a favourite would probably be a wet race. when you've come from 10th or fourth and you outsmart the guys ahead of you and exploit the vehicle as no-one thought you could". I don't really care what the rest is thinking.

"I can't control what's going to happen".

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