For all of you Kimi Raikkonen fans out there, you handwringing days are over, Ferrari have extended their contract with the 2007 champion for 2016. Here is Ferrari’s comment:
“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.”
I can’t say that it is the most glowing announcement ripe with excitement about their extension but then Ferrari usually don’t make a big fuss about driver announcements. There were a number of names linked to the Italian squad as possible replacements and chief among them was Williams driver Valtteri Bottas but it seems Ferrari have thought better of it.
I’ll be honest, as a Ferrari fan, I was not completely convinced that Bottas was the right move. Don’t get me wrong, I thin Valtteri is a terrific driver and he reminds me of Mika Hakkinen in the way he drives but I also note that he isn’t pummeling his teammate, Felipe Massa, over at Williams and usually Ferrari look for complete standouts. Schumacher, Alonso, Vettel. Raikkonen was, at the time, a highly regarded standout but not overwhelmingly so over his McLaren teammates but nonetheless, he was an obvious choice. As such, this may be why the extension wasn’t a cut and dry case nor has his time at Ferrari been outstanding as the team paid him to leave in 2010.
While Kimi hasn’t had a glowing career at Ferrari, I am not convinced Valtteri would have either to be honest. Ferrari parted company with Felipe Massa and this is the very driver that Bottas is not currently dominating at Williams.