The 35-year-old Raikkonen has been overshadowed by the 28-year-old Vettel, who won the last race in Hungary.
Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said earlier this year Raikkonen’s future lay in his own hands, which was interpreted as a clear signal for the Finn to make improvements amid what has been an indifferent start to his second spell with the Italians.
Kimi Raikkonen will stay on at Ferrari in 2016 alongside Sebastian Vettel, the Italian Formula One team has confirmed.
“I know him well and we have a very good relationship…”
The decision comes after months of speculation regarding the Finnish driver’s future, with Corriere Dello Sport suggesting that Williams’s Valtteri Bottas was being lined up as a replacement as Kimi failed to impress this season.
Still, the one-year extension has not changed F1 observers’ view that Bottas – who had always been considered a frontrunner to replace Raikkonen – will eventually join Ferrari.
Much of that, undoubtedly, is down to the big step forward Ferrari have made with their vehicle and engine, but Raikkonen has already scored 21 points more than he managed in the whole of last season – despite three retirements in 10 races.
“For 2013 I had to stay at Sauber for one more year and then I would be going to Ferrari”.
Frank Sportolari, President, UPS Germany, said: “This is a spectacular celebration of our partnership with Scuderia Ferrari and raises awareness of our worldwide UPS Access Point™ network which is set to grow to 22,000 globally by the end of the year. I am more committed than ever and I want to say thank you to the people who gave me this chance”, Kimi is quoted as saying on Ferrari’s official site.
“I could see it coming, so if there’s no expectation there can’t be disappointment”, said Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg as the sport regrouped at the Belgian Grand Prix after the August break.
“In the second part of the current season we’ll have to do better, trying to minimize mistakes and problems, aiming for the front all the time,” said Raikkonen.
“I love racing on this track, it’s very nice and it has all the appeal of the circuits of days gone by”.