Ferrari retain Raikkonen for 2017

Fri Jul 8, 2016 5:29am EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SILVERSTONE, England (Reuters) - Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen will stay at Ferrari next season, the Italian Formula One team announced on Friday.

"The driver line-up for the 2017 racing season will still consist of the Finnish driver and Sebastian Vettel," a Ferrari statement said.

Raikkonen, who won his title with Ferrari in 2007, is currently level on points with team mate Vettel ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix, behind Lewis Hamilton and leader Nico Rosberg.

The Finn, who will be 37 in October, is the oldest driver on the starting grid but also one of the most popular among fans who admire his no-nonsense attitude and focus on racing.

Ferrari have yet to win this season but are the closest team to champions Mercedes and hoping to fight for the title next season when the sport undergoes an overhaul of the technical rules.

Vettel, a four times world champion with Red Bull before joining Ferrari last year, gets on well with Raikkonen and had made clear he wanted the partnership to continue.

"It's easy to work with him because you don't need to worry about any tricks or games or whatever that are potentially a distraction to getting the job done," the German told reporters last month.

The Ferrari seat is one of the most sought after, even if not currently the most competitive, with the team the most glamorous and successful in Formula One history.   Continued...

Britain Formula One - F1 - British Grand Prix 2016 - Silverstone, England - 7/7/16
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen
Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers