Ferrari confirms Raikkonen alongside Vettel for 2016

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Ferrari has officially confirmed that 2007 F1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen will partner Sebastian Vettel in 2016.

The announcement puts an end to months of speculation surrounding the Finn’s future at Maranello, with Ferrari finally taking up the option it had on Raikkonen for next year.

The statement reads:

“Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has renewed its technical and racing agreement with Kimi Raikkonen. The driver line-up next season will still consist of the Finnish driver and Sebastian Vettel.”

With the 35-year-old holding the key to the driver market, all the other pieces should now fall into place, starting with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas who was tipped as Raikkonen’s most likely successor in Italy.

The official confirmation also means that Force India ace and reigning Le Mans 24 Hours champion Nico Hulkenberg misses out on a Ferrari seat for the second time in his career.

Raikkonen first joined Maranello in 2007 from McLaren and remains the latest driver to have been crowned world champion with the revered Italian squad.

Having momentarily retired from F1 at the end of the 2009 campaign, the Finn returned to the sport with Lotus in 2012 before coming back to Ferrari last year.

A 20-time grand prix winner, Raikkonen is currently fifth in the 2015 Drivers’ standings and sits 84 points adrift of Vettel with a best result of second at Bahrain.

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