Jean Alesi tips Sebastian Vettel to sign next Ferrari contract

Alesi tips Vettel to sign next Ferrari contract
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The decision to keep Kimi Raikkonen is a move by Ferrari to retain its harmonious team "atmosphere", according to Jean Alesi.

The decision to keep Kimi Raikkonen is a move by Ferrari to retain its harmonious team "atmosphere", according to Jean Alesi.

The former Ferrari driver's comments come amid claims that the 2018 deal for Raikkonen is a precursor to Sebastian Vettel also staying at the Maranello team.

Referring to 37-year-old Raikkonen, Alesi told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "He is very much a loved Ferrari driver.

"We are talking about a guy who really loves driving and is a real point of reference for the whole environment at Ferrari.

"Ferrari made giant strides this year and now has a winning car on almost every circuit. And then there is the team spirit that is the great work of Maurizio Arrivabene and Sergio Marchionne.

"The decision to keep Kimi consolidates this atmosphere, as neither Vettel nor Kimi is jealous of the other.

Indeed, Alesi thinks that the next step for Ferrari will be to announce a new contract for its de-facto 'number one' driver, German Vettel.

"I think Vettel will renew as well," he said. "A house is built upon its foundation, but I also think it's true that if there is a driver other than Seb at Ferrari in 2018, he will also have no problems with Kimi."

Ferrari sit 39 points behind leaders Mercedes in the team rankings ahead of this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Ferrari walks across the paddock during practice for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 17, 2015
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