Kimi Raikkonen says he is pleased to have questions about his Formula 1 future put on hold in the wake of confirmation that he has re-signed with Ferrari for the 2017 season.
Ahead of the British Grand Prix, round ten of the 2016 F1 season, Ferrari dismissed speculation it could be prepared to drop Raikkonen at the end of his current contract this year by confirming his deal has been extended into 2017.
Considered a key figure in the 'silly season' market, Raikkonen – who has notched up four podiums this year – says he is pleased his future is now no longer to conjecture and he can now focus solely on his racing.
“Obviously I'm happy, that was always the aim and it makes life easier for us too, as we don't have to keep answering the same questions. We can just put all the effort on the racing side now.
“I don't think this changes our work at all but the rest is much easier, because people kept asking the same question. I'm very happy to be here next year, but in terms of what we do on the race weekends it doesn't change anything. It's just we don't need to answer the same question anymore.”
Twenty-time race winner Raikkonen clinched his F1 world title with Ferrari in 2007 before taking a sabbatical at the end of 2009 to pursue a brief career in rallying. A return to F1 followed in 2012 with Lotus, before re-joining Ferrari in 2014.
After a difficult start to his tenure with the Scuderia
, Raikkonen fortunes improved in 2015 and into 2016, though he hasn't won a race since the 2013 Australian Grand Prix.