Sebastian Vettel hopes that Kimi Raikkonen will still be his Ferrari teammate for the 2017 Formula 1 season, believing stability to be key to pushing the team forwards.
Vettel joined Raikkonen at Ferrari in 2015, but the Finn’s future was brought into question as he failed to match the German across the course of the season.
Ferrari opted to keep Raikkonen on for another year, and despite scoring three podium finishes in the opening seven rounds of 2016, his future has once again become the focus of ‘silly season’ speculation.
Raikkonen said in Canada last weekend that he wanted to stay at Ferrari for 2017, and Vettel hopes to continue with the Finn by his side at Maranello next year.
“I’m quite happy with Kimi because there’s no bullshit as he puts it going on, no funny games or anything like that,” Vettel told NBCSN.
“We’re both trying to work with the team, push the car forward and not putting ourselves in first place if you understand what I mean.
“In this regard, it would be great if he decides to keep going. If not, it’s not really in my hands.”
At 36, Raikkonen is one of the oldest drivers on the grid and even raced against current Red Bull racer Max Verstappen’s father, Jos, in the early part of his career.
He famously walked away from F1 in 2009 after a three-year stint at Ferrari, only to return in 2012 with Lotus and win two races before returning to Maranello.
Raikkonen has faced questions about his motivation throughout his career, but with his on-track fortunes continuing to improve, it appears Ferrari will have little reason to rock the boat and part company with him for next season.
Vettel’s contract is known to expire at the end of 2017, but the German is already rumored to be in talks with the team over a three-year extension that would take him to the end of 2020.