Ferrari extends Kimi Raikkonen's contract for 2016
The 35-year-old is fifth in the driver's standings this year with 76 points heading into this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix. Nicknamed the "Ice Man," Raikkonen won the 2007 World Championship with Ferrari. He left the Scuderia in 2009 and dabbled in World Rally Championship and NASCAR competition, before returning to F1 in 2012 with Lotus. He's been back with Ferrari since the 2014 season.
"We believe that extending Kimi's contract into the next season will provide further stability to the team," team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said in statement. "This has been our guideline, also considering the very good relationship between Kimi and Seb [Sebastian Vettel]. On our side, this shows our great confidence in him, and I expect this confidence to be well-rewarded."
Raikkonen has teamed with Vettel (who's third in driver's points) to key the Scuderia's bounce-back season. Ferrari, the sport's oldest and most successful team, is second in the constructor's standings this year with 236 points, trailing Mercedes (383).
"For me, to be able to stay another year at Ferrari means that the dream goes on," Raikkonen said in a statement. "The Scuderia is my family, as I always said, it's here I want to end my career. I am more committed than ever and I want to say thank you to the people who gave me this chance."
The announcement comes as Ferrari prepares for its historic 900th grand prix. It's won 16 races in Belgium, including 12 victories as Spa-Francorchamps. The team's most recent win there was in 2009 – by Raikkonen.
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