Raikkonen: New Ferrari deal can launch title bid

Kimi Raikkonen believes his new Ferrari Formula 1 deal opens the door to a potential world championship challenge in 2016.

Ferrari ended weeks of speculation about Raikkonen's future by announcing on Wednesday it had taken up an option on the Finn's contract to keep him on board next year.

Speaking at the Belgian Grand Prix, Raikkonen said he was convinced about the potential within Ferrari to make progress over the winter to be even stronger than its current form.

We want to do as well as we can and hopefully challenge for the championship next year,” he said. “I am sure we can produce quite a bit better car next year than this year.

“The team is working well together, we all feel very good, but we have to try to do a good second part of the year and maximise what we have, and then prepare for next year.”

No short term boost

Although Ferrari's decision means Raikkonen no longer has to worry about his future, the former world champion was adamant that confirmation of his deal would not alter his or the team's approach.

“It doesn't change anything,” he said. “We still try to do the same at every race. The contract thing is not going to change our approach for the weekend or the end result.

“Hopefully the end result will be good, but we will do the same things in other races. Hopefully we can have a good race with no problems and we will see where we end up.”

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Belgian GP
Track Spa-Francorchamps
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news