Date: 9th July 2016 at 2:35pm
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During the British Grand Prix weekend Ferrari announced that they had signed up Kimi Raikkonen for the 2017 Formula One World Championship.

The news surprised many in the paddock as the 2007 Formula One World Champion hasn’t exactly impressed in recent seasons.

Coupled with the fact that he turns 37-years-old before the season ends and Ferrari were believed to be heading towards naming one of Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas or Romain Grosjean as Sebastian Vettel’s new team-mate.

But whilst Perez has impressed at Force India, picking up results that often seen as beyond the car and Bottas impressing for Williams, Ferrari seemingly decided that those options were not significantly better than Kimi.

The news delighted Kimi [on the inside obviously], ‘I’ve always said I would not be here if I didn’t enjoy it or felt that I can’t drive, or do it 100 percent, If I wasn’t motivated, I wouldn’t be here wasting my own time or the team’s time. Raikkonen told motorsport.com.

‘I’ve always said, nearly 10 years ago, that my last team would be Ferrari and it’s still like that. What happens in the future I don’t know. Time will tell, but I usually don’t make plans for a very long future,’

The agreement signs up both Vettel and Raikkonen until the end of 2017.

Four-Time Formula One World Champion Sebastian Vettel is out-of-contract beyond 2017, but discussions have begun regarding a new contract for the German.

But who could be his long-term team-mate, assuming he does stay at Ferrari?

Well according to Sky Sports, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne wants to snap up three-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

The British driver is contracted to Mercedes until the end of the 2018 season, but it is thought that his contract does hold opt-out clauses, which would mean that it’s not impossible that Hamilton could switch to Ferrari at the end of 2017.

‘Raikkonen’s harmony with Sebastian Vettel also obviously plays a big part in this [new deal for Kimi]. But there is another tantalising detail in all of this I’ve learnt about. The only person Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne thinks is worth a big purchase, and upsetting the apple cart for, is Lewis Hamilton. It’s believed Marchionne thinks Hamilton is the only driver currently out there who is as quick, if not quicker, than Sebastian Vettel. Ted Kravitz said on Sky Sports.

‘Marchionne knows he probably cannot get him in the medium term as the Englishman is contracted to Mercedes until the end of 2018 but he also knows that, given the current climate at Mercedes, anything is possible.

 

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