Arrivabene: Reason for keeping Kimi alongside Vettel is clear

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene says retaining Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel for 2018 was the right decision for team spirit at Maranello.

In August, Ferrari confirmed Raikkonen would be retained on a one year-deal in 2018 before announcing that Vettel had signed a three-year contract extension a week later. The news will see Ferrari continue with the same driver line-up for the fourth year in a row -- a decision that Arrivabene said was the obvious choice.

"The reason why I think is quite clear," he said. "They went through the last three years with great co-operation within them. They feel very good together, being part of the team and translating this spirit to the overall team, I think we don't find any reason why not confirming them together."

Raikkonen's contract extension came despite the Finn going over four years without a win in F1, three of which have been at Ferrari. He came close to beating Vettel to victory in Monaco and Hungary this year but on both occasions finished a dutiful second to his teammate. Arrivabene has no doubt Raikkonen still has the pace to win in F1 and said it would be a "dream" to see the Finn return to the top of the podium.

"He demonstrated that he could be capable to do it in Monaco. Also in Hungary he was nearly there. I would be happy if Kimi is going to win a race during the course of this season. For me, it could be a dream, because he was working so hard during the last three years and I think if he is going to win I can be happy."

Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc is currently leading the Formula 2 championship by a healthy margin and is expected to move to Sauber next year to make his F1 debut. Arrivabene said Leclerc, along with Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi, would have to prove themselves in F1 before being considered as a Raikkonen replacement.

"Talking about the young drivers, they are growing, our objective is to of course to grow up young drivers and maybe to see them in the future with us. This is the final goal. But, before that they need to demonstrate in Formula One that they deserve it."