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Hopefully it stays how it is - Raikkonen wants new Ferrari contract for Vettel

79   //    24 Aug 2017, 20:08 IST
KimiRaikkonenSebastianVettel - cropped
Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen (L) and Sebastian Vettel (R)

Kimi Raikkonen is hoping Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel will follow his lead and extend his contract with the Scuderia.

Ferrari announced on Tuesday that Raikkonen had signed a one-year renewal, though four-time world champion Vettel's deal is still set to expire at the end of the Formula One season.

The German leads the drivers' standings from Lewis Hamilton by 14 points, while 39 points separate Mercedes and second-place Ferrari in the constructors' championship.

Raikkonen is pleased the Italian team are in a position to mount a serious challenge to Mercedes' dominance of recent years and hopes to retain his partnership with Vettel beyond this season.

Asked at a media conference ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix if Vettel was his best team-mate, Raikkonen responded: "Sure he is. We work very well together as a whole team. It's a good way of working.

"But I'm not the guy who decides. I have no idea what will happen in his case. Hopefully it stays how it is now, that would be perfect.

"We want to do well, we want to improve. You always find things to do better.

"Lately it's been a bit better, we've been feeling more comfortable and can try what we want and suddenly the results look better. I'm confident we are doing the right things."

Raikkonen's extension means he will be racing beyond his 39th birthday and he explained what keeps him in F1.

"I wouldn't do it [sign an extension] if I wasn't happy with it and the team feels the same way," said the Finn.

"I enjoy racing. I want to do well. If I didn't feel I could go fast I wouldn't be here. I have zero interest to waste my time or the team's time.

"The racing is the main thing [that keeps me going]. Yes, there are a lot of sides of F1 but as long as the racing is the biggest part, that's it.

"As long as I feel myself that I can win races then that's fine. If I don't feel like that I will do something else."

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