Ferrari signs Raikkonen through 2010

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Kimi Raikkonen will drive for Ferrari through 2010 after extending his contract with the Italian team by another year.

Updated: September 16, 2008 09:04 IST
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Monza (Italy):

Kimi Raikkonen will drive for Ferrari through 2010 after extending his contract with the Italian team by another year on Friday.

The 28-year-old Raikkonen, the defending Formula One champion, is currently fourth in the overall standings, 19 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton of McLaren with five races to go.

"It was my decision. I know what I can do, what is possible," Raikkonen said after topping free practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

"It doesn't change anything for this year or for (the) future. I still try to do the best that I can, and hopefully now it looks like we started to come the way that we want to ... and hopefully we can get some results."

Raikkonen brushed off claims that he pondered retiring after next season, insisting he was just as motivated to continue despite an inconsistent 2008.

"Sometimes it's not easy but that doesn't mean that I'm not enjoying the driving or that I'm not motivated. It's just not fun when things aren't going as you want," Raikkonen told reporters along pit lane.

"But everyone's working hard and we're getting what we want."

The move ends speculation over Ferrari's driver lineup with Felipe Massa also contracted through 2010.

The Ferrari driver lineup remains unchanged for the next two coming seasons, the team said in a statement from the Italian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso said earlier this week that he could maybe move from Renault to Ferrari in 2010, but Raikkonen's re-signing looks to have ended that possibility.

Alonso has made no effort to hide his desire to join Ferrari, while the two-time world champion has also been linked with a possible move to BMW Sauber and Honda.

Raikkonen joined Ferrari last season and overcame a 17-point deficit with two races left to win his first championship by a single point over then McLaren teammates Hamilton and Alonso.

"I enjoy being here and I had a fantastic time last year. When I joined last season, I had more fun than I have had in a long time," said Raikkonen, who had twice previously finished runner-up in.

Raikkonen's future at Ferrari had looked uncertain following a poor run of results. The former McLaren driver hasn't won since the Spanish GP in April - a stretch of nine races.

"There have been a lot of difficulties lately, but that is part of racing sometimes," he said. "It has been difficult, yes, and hopefully we can turn it around a bit and get some good results. It is not too late yet, but it is getting difficult (to win the title) with every race."

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