Mika Häkkinen admits Ferrari's forthcoming decision to extend Kimi Räikkonen's contract will be a difficult one, based on his countryman's current situation.
While the Finn has enjoyed a profitable increase in performance this season, thanks to an SF15-T chassis better suited to his driving style, he also needs to battle more consistently near the top of the leader board according to Häkkinen, like his team mate Sebastian Vettel has successfully done.
"At this point, it is still difficult to know whether this [retaining Räikkonen] would be the right or wrong decision for Ferrari," wrote the former two-time World Champion in his column for Hermes. "We already know about Kimi's speed and talent, a very experienced driver like him should be showing regularly what we saw in Bahrain."
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said the team will continue to assess Räikkonen's performance and will not rush to a decision whether to retain or not the 35-year-old, stating that he is confident that the uncertainty regarding the Finn's future at the Scuderia will in itself fuel the driver's motivation.
In his column, Häkkinen also recognized the talent of fellow countryman Valtteri Bottas, whom he considers a potential successor to Raïkkonen at Ferrari. "It was great to see how Valtteri, with his driving style, won the fight against Vettel under a lot of pressure. This is exactly the type of strong nerves that drivers need to fight for world titles."
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