Kimi Raikkonen says he had no hesitation putting pen to paper on a new Ferrari deal for the 2018 F1 season because he still believes he is capable of challenging for wins and world titles.

The Finn put pen to paper on a new deal with the championship leading <i>Scuderia</i>, despite coming in for criticism from Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne earlier this year for his indifferent results relative to four-time race winner Sebastian Vettel.

However, Raikkonen – who is fifth in the standings and hasn’t won a race since 2013 – still feels more than capable of giving Ferrari the results it craves, insisting he wouldn’t stay in the sport otherwise because F1 isn’t the ‘nicest place just to hang around’.

“[I’m here for] purely the racing. The rest, not. I enjoy racing. Obviously I want to do well. I wouldn’t feel I could go fast and wouldn’t be happy in myself, I wouldn’t be here. I have zero interest to waste my time or the team’s time to be part of it. It’s not the nicest place just to hang around.

“The racing is the main thing. Yes there’s a lot of other sides of F1, but the racing is the biggest part. That’s it. As long as I feel myself that I can win races and fight for championships, when I don’t feel like that, I would be the first guy to do something else.”

With Ferrari opting for experience over fresh blood, Raikkonen remains certain better results will come over the course of the year and into 2018.

“Everyone has their own view of things. Obviously we want to do well, we want to improve. You always found things to do better and try to that way find more speed. Lately it’s been a bit better.

“We’ve been feeling a bit more comfortable and able to do try what we want, and then the results suddenly look a bit better. I am confident that we are doing the right things and getting where we want to be.”


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