Aug.23 (GMM) Kimi Raikkonen says he and Ferrari are “happy” to have reached a new deal for 2018.
The Italian team on Tuesday ended a period of speculation by announcing that the Finn will stay at Ferrari next year.
“We started discussing it at a late stage and quickly agreed. It did not take long to think about it,” Raikkonen said at a sponsor event in Helsinki.
“I have known about it for some time but only now read it in the newspaper.”
It is believed Raikkonen’s deal is a precursor to Ferrari also retaining its de-facto ‘number 1’ driver Sebastian Vettel for 2018.
“I would not have signed it if I wasn’t enjoying it and I didn’t have a good cooperation with the team and the people,” said Raikkonen.
The 2007 world champion, who will turn 39 during the course of the 2018 season, said he did not mind that the new deal is for one year only.
“At this point it’s good to take one season at a time,” he is quoted by the broadcaster MTV.
Raikkonen also said the agreement will have no impact on his focus on this year’s calendar.
“It does not matter one way or another if there is another contract or not. I always try my best,” he insisted.
And he said he is also not relieved that the speculation about his future will die down for now, insisting: “Probably in a month’s time they will begin speculating about the next one.”
Finally, Raikkonen was asked about the controversial ‘Halo’ safety innovation, which will be mandatory in 2018.
“New rules and parts always seem very different but quickly they are forgotten about,” he said.
“The Halo is a good thing if it saves someone’s life or stops something bad from happening.”