Kimi Raikkonen will be back at Ferrari in 2018. The fast Finn who has been relegated to #2 within the team has been on a year to year contract recently. We now know that he will be donning the Ferrari Red again in 2018. As the clear #2 to Sebastian Vettel, Raikkonen has put in some impressive drives this season including what should have been a win in Monaco.
Earlier in the season Ferrari boss, Sergio Marchionne called Raikkonen a “laggard” during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. It’s a strange thing to call your driver when the team is clearly positioning him behind the other car. Raikkonen could have two wins on the season at Monaco and Hungary if Ferrari gave him the ability to win those races. Mercedes have given their drivers equal standing within the team and free ability to race. Ferrari says their drivers have the ability to race but the teams actions suggest otherwise.
Raikkonen won the 2007 World Driver’s Championship and likely should have won at least one or two before that while at McLaren. He still has speed and has had a resurgence of sorts this season. He has 4 podiums and 2 runner up finishes. He certainly could do better but as the #2 driver, he is doing his job.
What About 2019?
Ferrari could very well call Raikkonen names again in 2018 and then sign him to another deal in 2019. This is becoming a yearly tradition and I’m not sure we’re all ready for it to end yet. F1 without Kimi Raikkonen will be a sad desolate place. Keep this in mind though, we all get to tell our kids about Kimi Raikkonen stories some day. The drunken boat fall, the leaving Monaco and heading straight for the yacht, the gorilla suit snowmobile race, the ice cream, and all of the sound clips.
In 2019 the Ferrari seat will likely go to Charles Leclerc as it should. That kid has been lighting it up this season in F2 and for the first time, ever Ferrari might promote a development driver to a race seat. He won’t be as fun as Kimi though, no one will.
One more year of Raikkonen is exactly what this world needs. He needs it too, the rate he and his wife are having kids he’ll be racing until 2035.
Ps. @ZachMiles2 said, “can you imagine what negotiations between Raikkonen’s Finnish reps and Ferrari were like?” We can only assume it was a lot of grunts and blank stares.
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