The 38-year-old has been signed up by Sauber, the small Swiss team where he started his career way back in 2001.
“I heard about this possibility already at Monza,” former team owner and boss Peter Sauber told Blick newspaper.
“That is happens is a great signal for the team and the fans,” he added.
Sauber thinks it is the changes made at the team, such as the alliance with Alfa Romeo and the new management headed by Frederic Vasseur, that convinced Raikkonen to join.
“A year ago he probably would not have taken this step,” said Peter Sauber.
Still, the Finn will be 41 when this new contract ends, while “There are 18 year old guys out there,” noted former F1 driver Mika Salo.
But he thinks Raikkonen will be good for Sauber despite his age.
“F1 is a business, and Kimi’s name brings sponsors, finances and a better financial base. It’s a big deal for Sauber,” said Salo.
It could also work out for Raikkonen himself, the former Sauber driver said.
“As expectations are not terribly high, he can race without pressure,” Salo told C More broadcaster. “Maybe he can drive a bit more relaxed.
“There are also a few stories around that Kimi would like to buy into Sauber as well,” he added.
“In my opinion this is about more than just driving,” Salo said.