Kimi Raikkonen is confident that he can do “great things” with Scuderia Ferrari after the Italian team confirmed on Wednesday that he had been retained for 2016.
Raikkonen first raced for Ferrari between 2007 and 2009, but rejoined the team in 2014 on a two-year deal with an option for a third.
After struggling to match either of his teammates during his time with Ferrari, speculation had been rife about the Finn’s future with the team.
Reports in Italy suggested that Williams driver Valtteri Bottas had been lined up as a possible replacement for Raikkonen after the two teams had allegedly agreed a fee.
Now that all rumors have been laid to rest, Raikkonen is focusing on forging a successful future with Ferrari.
“Obviously it the same as every year,” Raikkonen said. “We want to do as well as we can and hopefully challenge for championships for next year and I’m sure we can produce even a quite bit better car than this year next year.
“The team is all working well together and we all feel very good and obviously I’m happy to stay there but we have to try to do a good second part of the year and maximize what we have and then prepare for next year.”
Due to Raikkonen’s monosyllabic nature and distaste of ceremony, questions have been asked about his motivation throughout his F1 career.
However, the 2007 world champion made clear that he is still enjoying racing with Ferrari, believing that the Italian team is moving in the right direction.
“I’ve had good years, difficult years, some up and downs but I always enjoy it,” Raikkonen said.
“[You] always enjoy it more when things are going more nicely when you get results but as a team, I’ve had a great time there and I’m very pleased that we can be working together next year again.
“As a team, as they are now, I really feel that we are going in the right direction and we can do great things in the future.
“We keep working and believe in what we’re doing so I’m sure we will get there and we will have many happy days in front of us and a lot of good results.”