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Bottas signs deal to replace Raikkonen – report

Valtteri Bottas has reached a deal with Ferrari to replace Finnish countryman Kimi Raikkonen from 2016.

That is the claim of Italy’s Corriere dello Sport on Friday, adding that the Maranello team will therefore not exercise the 2016 ‘option’ on Raikkonen’s existing contract.

That option does not expire until 31 July, and so there will be no official confirmation of the Bottas deal “at least until that date”, the newspaper said.

The report revealed that Ferrari reached an agreement with Bottas’ current team Williams, who had a firm option on the 25-year-old’s services for next year.

Corriere dello Sport said the deal, brokered by Bottas’ experienced manager Didier Coton, amounts to some EUR 12 million.

Corriere dello Sport correspondent Fulvio Solms backs the decision to oust Raikkonen.

“Kimi did not fit with the last two Ferrari cars,” he told Speed Week.  “He did not fit with the new team management.  Sometimes he seems not to fit even with himself.”