Sebastian Vettel was pleased to learn that Kimi Raikkonen would be remaining at Ferrari for the 2017 Formula 1 season, saying that it was “the right thing to do”.
Vettel and Raikkonen have worked together since the beginning of 2015, but the Finn’s failure to match his teammate across last season led to questions about his future at Maranello beyond the end of the season.
However, Ferrari announced on Friday ahead of practice for the British Grand Prix that Raikkonen would be staying on for 2017, extending his second spell at Ferrari into a fourth season.
“I think it’s the right thing to do,” Vettel said.
“We’re both pushing very hard and our primary target is to catch the leader, which in this case is Mercedes, so there is plenty of work ahead of us. There’s been a lot of talk, but now it all goes quiet.
“I would say probably Kimi and myself have the least ego problems in the whole paddock, which is good for the team, as we’re working in the same direction.
“On the track we both try to race hard, which we’ve shown in the races in the past, when we’ve raced each other for position, but I think that’s normal. Outside the car we have no problem.”
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene spoke about the decision in Friday’s FIA press conference, saying that it lifts any pressure that was building on Raikkonen.
“We remove all the pressure from the shoulders of Kimi,” Arrivabene said.
“In the last two or three races, every time Kimi sat in a press conference, [journalists] asked about the contract. I know his nickname is the Iceman but he’s a human being.
“Even the Iceman is a human with emotion and I think he could feel the pressure.”