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Raikkonen’s new deal

Ferrari’s decision to extend Kimi Raikkonen’s contract for another year came as a surprise to many in the Monza paddock, given his inconsistent form this season and the Maranello team’s apparent interest in Fernando Alonso and Robert Kubica.

So we asked our expert analyst Mark Hughes to offer some posssible explanations...

At Monza Ferrari announced an extension to Kimi Raikkonen’s contract, taking it to the end of 2010.

The timing was peculiar, coming on the back of several recent below-par performances from the world champion and fevered speculation that his place would be taken by either Fernando Alonso or Robert Kubica in 2010.

There were several takes within the paddock on the logic of the announcement.

Take one: the face value take. Ferrari understand that Raikkonen’s recent difficulties are purely to do with adapting his driving style to a car reluctant to heat up its front tyres; and that next year, on slicks and with a completely new set of aero regulations, those characteristics will not apply.

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