Ferrari has confirmed that Kimi Raikkonen will remain part of its race line-up for the 2018 Formula 1 season, extending his second stint with the team into a fifth year.

Raikkonen's existing Ferrari contract was due to expire at the end of the season, but will roll over for another 12 months until the end of the 2018 season.

The Finn's future has been a regular debate topic in F1 for the past few seasons, but Ferrari confirmed ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix that Raikkonen would be returning for 2018.

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"Ferrari announces that Scuderia Ferrari has renewed its technical and racing agreement with Kimi Raikkonen," a short statement from Ferrari reads.

"The Finnish driver will therefore race for the Maranello team in the 2018 Formula One World Championship."

Raikkonen won his sole world title during his first season with Ferrari in 2007, but left at the end of 2009 in order to take a break from F1.

Raikkonen returned to Ferrari in 2014, and has forged a friendly partnership with Sebastian Vettel at Maranello since 2015.

Vettel is also out of contract at the end of the year, with an extension reportedly set to be announced over the Italian Grand Prix weekend at Monza at the beginning of next month.

The news means there will be no move up the grid for a number of drivers linked to the Ferrari seat, including Sergio Perez and Romain Grosjean, and acts as the first big news of the driver market 'silly season' this summer.

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I Like Kimi but come on now this is getting dull. Compare this to Moto gp where you have 2 young guns on Tech3 yamaha who can at times get amongst the front runners as well as private Ducati at certain tracks....in F1 most new guys get to run flat last in Manors or Saubers while dads army keep good seats up front.

I was at the race in Budapest. Kimi's performance through the weekend was flawless and he is cleary the crowd favorite. Keeping him was a no-brainer. However, I do think F1 needs to find ways to allow the other teams to be more competitive. Thge big four are the only teams with any realistic shot at winning. The simpler engine formula and spec parts for suspension and undertray will be an excellent start.

Does this put Alonso one step closer to Indycar? 

i have a lot of time for Niki,, he is very patient with Vettel.

 

I guess that means Vettel is staying at Ferrari...