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Kimi Raikkonen eyes championships and 'happy days' with Ferrari

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Kimi Raikkonen insists Ferrari can compete for championships next season and says the team has "many happy days" to come after being retained for 2016.

Speculation about Raikkonen's future was ended by Ferrari on Wednesday when it confirmed the 2007 world champion will remain at the team next year.

Asked why he wanted to stay at Ferrari in 2016, he replied: "Obviously it is the same as every year, we want to do as well as we can and hopefully challenge for championships next year. I'm sure we can produce quite a bit better car than this year next year and the team is working well and we all feel very good. I'm happy to stay there and we have to try to do a good second part of the year and maximise what we have and prepare for next year as well."

Raikkonen says his contract extension will have little impact on his race approach.

"Well, it doesn't change anything - we still have to do the same as any other race. That contract thing is not going to change our approach for the weekend or the end result, hopefully the end result will be good but we will do the same things than all the other races. Hopefully we can have no problems and see where we end up."

Next year will be Raikkonen's sixth at Ferrari - a tenure stretching over two stints (2007-2009 and 2014-present) - and he is the last man to win the drivers' championship for the iconic Italian team.

Asked whether he felt like he has left to achieve at Ferrari, he replied: "Obviously we want more wins, me and the team. I've had good years, difficult years, up and downs, but I always enjoyed it. You always enjoy it a bit more when things are going more nicely and you get the results but as a team I had a great time there and I'm very pleased that we can be working together next year again.

"As a team, as they are now, I really feel like we are going in the right direction and we can do great things in the future. Do I miss something [an experience]? I don't know. People are more happy, we are more happy, when we can do better result. Obviously you guys write less negative things after that. We'll keep working and believe in what we are doing and I'm sure we will have many happy days in front of us and a lot of good results."