MARANELLO, Italy — Scuderia Ferrari announced Tuesday morning that the team has extended its contract with Kimi Raikkonen to race for the team through the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship season.
Next season will mark Raikkonen’s fifth-successive year with the Italian squad, continuing his second stint with the team after a prior Ferrari drive from 2007 through 2009.
Raikkonen won the F1 championship in 2007 during his first season with Ferrari, on the strength of six wins, 12 podiums and three poles in 17 Grands Prix.
In total, he has scored nine of his 20 career wins under the red banner, but has not won for the Scuderia since the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps in 2009.
After a two-year stint with Lotus in 2012 and 2013, Raikkonen returned to Ferrari for the 2014 season and has since scored 11 podium finishes, with two top-six rankings in the driver’s championship in the last two years.
Should he not miss a race before then, Raikkonen will surpass Felipe Massa for second in all-time starts with Ferrari when he makes his 140th Grand Prix for the team at the Austrian Grand Prix on July 1, 2018.
The Finn currently sits fifth in the championship through 11 races this season, and he scored his 17th career pole in May at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Raikkonen’s best finishes to-date in 2017 have been a pair of runner-up efforts, at Monaco and again during the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 30.
With Raikkonen’s signing, it would appear that the pairing of he and Vettel at Ferrari will continue for the fourth year in a row, providing Vettel re-signs with the ‘Prancing Horses’ as well.
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Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network.
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