Kimi Raikkonen signs Ferrari contract renewal for 2018 season

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    Story highlights

    • Raikkonen extends Ferrari contract
    • Finn will race until end of 2018 season

    (CNN)Ferrari has extended the contract of Kimi Raikkonen until the end of next season, ending speculation the Finnish driver could be replaced.

    Team president Sergio Marchionne labeled Raikkonnen "a laggard" before July's Austrian Grand Prix, questioning the 37-year-old's commitment and desire going forward in Formula One.
      But recent good form -- including podium finishes in the Finn's last two races -- have paved the way for another year at the Maranello outfit.
      It will be Raikkonen's fifth consecutive campaign with Ferrari, making him the Italian team's second longest serving driver of all time.
      As it stands, only Michael Schumacher (179) and Felipe Massa (139) have made more grand prix starts than his total of 122.
      Raikkonen previously raced for the Scuderia between 2007 and 2009, winning the driver's world championship in his first year.
      However, he hasn't won a race in the Ferrari red since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.
      While teammate Sebastian Vettel leads this year's drivers' championship, Raikonnen trails in fifth, 86 points behind, though on two occasions the Finn surrendered two possible victory chances -- in Monaco and Hungary -- to boost the German's title chances.
      The 30-year-old Vettel is out of contract at Ferrari at the end of the year.