HE STILL HAS WHAT IT TAKES: Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen believes he can produce a good performance from the Hungarian GP. Image: AFP / Patrik Stollarz
BUDAPEST, Hungary - Kimi Raikkonen believes he still has the speed Ferrari needs despite reports that the team is lining up fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas to replace him in 2016.
The 2007 Formula 1 champion was speaking to reporters ahead of the 2015 Hungarian GP on Thursday (July 23). The 35-year-old who will be out-of-contract with Ferrari at the end of the 2015 season.
OPTION TO KEEP RAIKKONEN
The Finn said: "Everybody has their own view but I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I had the speed. There would be no point to be racing if I didn't believe I have, and I am sure I have (the speed)."
Ferrari has an option to retain him alongside four-times champion Sebastian Vettel and is weighing up how to proceed.
READ: Hungarian GP: Kimi's last chance to shine?
Vettel joined the team in 2015 from Red Bull, is third overall in the Drivers’ championship, and has scored 59 points more than his team mate.
Reports in Italy a week earlier suggested Bottas would switch from Williams but neither Finn indicated that that was anything more than speculation.
Raikkonen said: "I don't know any more than I knew at the start of the year (2015). The whole thing hasn't changed for months. If I knew I would easily say - unfortunately I don't know.
"Somehow I end up every year in the same position and it makes no difference if I have a contract or not. There is no contract but there is an option now. I've made it very clear to the team what I would like to happen - to be here in 2016."
ONE PODIUM VISIT IN 2015
Raikkonen has not won since he was at Lotus in 2013 but the most popular driver in F1, according to a recent global fan survey, was second in Bahrain in April 2015.
Bottas, 10 years younger, has been on the podium once so far in 2015 – he was third in Canada in June 2015.
Bottas commented on his future: "There are a lot of rumours. For me there is nothing new to tell you since I was asked last time. As a driver you want to know as soon as possible but sometimes you need to wait."
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