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Ferrari confirm Raikkonen, Massa for '07 10 Sep 2006

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, 28 July 2006

One of the longest-running rumours in the Formula One paddock was finally confirmed on Sunday when Ferrari announced that McLaren driver Kimi Raikkonen will join the team next season.

Raikkonen has signed a three-year deal, covering the 2007, 2008 and 2009 seasons. His team mate will be Felipe Massa, the Brazilian’s contract having been extended until the end of 2008. Luca Badoer stays on as Ferrari’s official test driver.

"Whilst I have taken the decision to leave Team McLaren Mercedes, I want to stress that I really enjoyed my time with the team,” said Raikkonen. “I have the deepest respect for everybody and will be giving my all in the remaining races."

The Finn has been with McLaren for the past five years, scoring nine victories, 10 pole positions and 321 world championship points. His place at the team will be taken by world champion Fernando Alonso, whose 2007 partner will be revealed by McLaren before the end of the year.

Paying tribute to Raikkonen, McLaren boss Ron Dennis commented: "I have enjoyed working with Kimi over the past five seasons and as a team we have achieved a lot of success. He is a very special driver and obviously everybody at McLaren wishes him all the best in his future career. Looking forward we remain confident that our 2007 line-up will be a strong and exciting one."