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Raikkonen wants Vettel to stay at Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari’s driver Kimi Raikkonen holds a press conference ahead of the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa on August 24, 2017 © AFP / JOHN THYS

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium, Aug 24Kimi Raikkonen on Thursday urged Ferrari to re-sign championship leader Sebastian Vettel and revealed that his love of racing was the only reason he had decided to continue next year.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, the 2007 world champion added that he felt competitive enough to challenge for race victories and championships.

Raikkonen was confirmed as retaining his racing seat by Ferrari for 2018 earlier this week.

“It’s purely the racing,” said the Finn when asked by reporters to explain what motivated him to carry on.

“I enjoy the racing and, obviously, I want to do well. If I didn’t feel that I can go fast — I wouldn’t be happy in myself. I wouldn’t be here.

“As long as I feel myself that I can win races and fight for championships then that is why. If I didn’t feel that, I will be the first guy to do something else.”

He added that he had no idea why Ferrari took the decision to give him another year.

“You have to ask them,” he said. “Honestly, the only thing I was interested in was to be here next year.

“I don’t really care what the rest is thinking. The team feels the same way.”

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He said he hoped four-time champion Vettel, whose contract ends this year, would also stay.

“We work very well together, as does the whole team,” he said. “It’s a good way of working, but obviously I am not the one who decides.

“I have no idea what will happen in this case. Hopefully it will stay as it is now.”

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