Ferrari has announced before the first practice session that they are retaining Kimi Raikkonen alongside Sebastian Vettel for 2017. Raikkonen being retained by the Italian team will mean the driver market will begin in earnest with key names looking for seats.
There were three names being linked to the seat Sergio Perez, Valtteri Bottas and Romain Grosjean who wanted to replace the Fin.
In a statement Ferrari said “Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has renewed its technical and racing agreement with Kimi Raikkonen,’ the team announced ahead of this weekend’s British GP. ‘The driver line-up for the 2017 racing season will still consist of the Finnish driver and Sebastian Vettel.”
Raikkonen has had a much better season with him finishing third in Austria on Sunday and currently is third level with Vettel in the championship. The Fin told reporters “I would not be here if I did not enjoy it or if I did not feel like I can drive, if I did not feel like I can do it 100 per cent,” Raikkonen told reporters at Silverstone.
“It hasn’t changed. I feel I drive as well as I’ve driven for ever. If I didn’t feel like I’m driving well, I’m the first one to go away and not do it. If I wouldn’t be motivated, I would not be here wasting my own time or the team’s time.”
The announcement means that Perez, Grosjean and Bottas will likely be retained by their respective teams.