The recent decision by Ferrari to re-sign Kimi Raikkonen, a surprise to Kimi-bashers, but an absolute delight for the Finn’s fans, reinstates the persistent rumour that Ferrari are unbending as far as their driver line-up is concerned.
But what did Ferrari see from Raikkonen this year in a season that has, so far, been mixed as far as team orders, race retirements and podium finishes are concerned?
To answer this question, RealSport brings you 5 key moments that might have turned a corner for Raikkonen, and convinced the team that he deserves a seat for 2018.
1 P2 at Monaco
After enduring a horrible grand prix in Spain, where he collected a 'Did Not Finish' against his name, Monaco held a different story for Kimi.
Collecting what might be called an unexpected pole in Monte Carlo, Raikkonen began the race right at the front of the grid, only to be called in for an early stop on lap 33, a call that eventually handed victory to his later stopping teammate.
Even as Sebastian Vettel was favoured over Raikkonen, who put on a brave front on the podium, that P2 finish just ahead of the ever-smiling Ricciardo served as the perfect antidote to those who had doubted Kimi's speed.
While most of Kimi's fans would be annoyed with what seemed a lowly P2 given Ferrari's strategy call and how ridiculously quick Raikkonen had been all weekend, collecting 18 points can't be dubbed a bad 'Finnish'.
2 An indifferent but relaxed podium at Sochi
Finland and Russia share a bit of a history if you scroll through some literature. Not that it seems to matter one bit to Raikkonen, who repeated a bit of his own history here at the Sochi Autodrome, a track where he had collided with Valtteri Bottas (then driving for Williams) during the closing stages of 2015's race.
Much like in 2016, Kimi brought home some valuable points for the team, going one up on last year to collect an important P3, following Vettel, and race-winner Valtteri Bottas onto the podium.
3 Kimi's amazing overtake on Daniel Ricciardo
2017's P4 finish at Bahrain might not have been an ideal finish for Kimi, who has done extremely well at Sakhir in the past, but it wasn't without incident.
Even in collecting a not so bad 12 points in round 3, Raikkonen pulled off what could be called one of the finest overtakes all season. The Iceman produced a belter of a move on Red Bull's Ricciardo in weather that befitted Sakhir on April 16: hot and relentless.
Catching Ricciardo, idling in P4, down the back straight. Kimi first tried to go round the outside, before cutting back across to go down the inside and past the ever-smiling driver into turn 11, only to evade an immediate backlash by the Aussie, who couldn't match Kimi's lightening speed.
What really stood out in Kimi's pass over Ricciardo though, was that it came at a time where none would've fancied a finish for Raikkonen inside the top 5.
But that's Raikkonen, unpredictable, isn't it?
4 A surprise finish at Silverstone
A P3 at Silverstone wasn't exactly what Kimi might have expected in the finishing stages of Lewis Hamilton's home race. He was running a strong second, with Vettel 4th, when disaster struck both prancing horses.
They both experienced dramatic tyre failures that dropped Vettel to 7th, and Kimi to 3rd. No doubt happy to salvage a podium, Raikkonen would have nonetheless been thinking of what could have been at Silverstone. He could at least take solace in the fact that he outperformed not only Bottas in one of the Mercedes but also his teammate.
5 Kimi breaks podium record in Hungary
In what was clearly Kimi's drive of the season so far, he claimed a cool and controlled P2 at the Hungaroring, a circuit many Finns consider their home race, perhaps owing to the similarities between the languages. Raikkonen found his 'friend' Vettel on top of the podium, who he has largely protected during the race as the German experienced an issue with his steering.
Even then, in collecting his eighth podium at the Hungaroring, a new record, Kimi's P2 meant yet another solid, closely contested grand prix, one that produced some fine tactical driving by Raikkonen, who made the most of the straight line speed of his SF-70 H to fend off the charging Mercedes.
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