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F1: Kimi Raikkonen would welcome Vettel as teammate

From GMM

Ferrari is yet to confirm the news, but the famous team looks set to enter the 2015 season with Sebastian Vettel alongside Kimi Raikkonen.

It is now an open paddock secret that Alonso and Ferrari made the decision to terminate the rest of their contract -- scheduled to run until the end of 2016 -- on Thursday.

According to Red Bull, quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel will replace the Spaniard.

And despite Kimi Raikkonen's struggles in 2014, the Finn has a watertight contract and so he looks set to be Vettel's teammate in red.

Famously, the pair are friends.

Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel F1 Singapore
Kimi Raikkonen and his friend Sebastian Vettel at the Singapore Grand Prix (Photo: WRI2)

Asked by the Finnish broadcaster MTV3 if he would be happy to work with Vettel at Ferrari, Raikkonen said at Suzuka: "Absolutely.

"I have never worked with him, we've always been in different teams, but I know him well."

Raikkonen played down any lingering doubts that he might join Alonso in departing the crisis-struck Maranello camp, amid 'academy' driver Jules Bianchi's obvious interest in stepping up for 2015.

"I have a contract," said Raikkonen, "and I expect that I am here next year.

"I strongly believe that we will be in better positions next season.

"I know Marco (Mattiacci) has said he does not expect us to be at the front next year, but who knows," the 2007 world champion added.

"Lots of things happen in formula one, including big steps in development.

"I'm here because I want to be here," said Raikkonen. "I could leave tonight, but I can also continue for two or ten more years if I want."