Kimi Raikkonen's run of four consecutive podium finishes is still not enough to guarantee his place at Ferrari next year, team principal Stefano Domenicali suggested on Sunday night.
While discussions continue between Raikkonen and Ferrari management about the possibility of ending the Finn's contract a year early, Domenicali suggested after the Italian Grand Prix that the situation was still very open.
When asked to end speculation about Raikkonen's future and confirm the 2007 world champion would drive for the team next year, Domenicali said: "I think that, as we have said, we don't want to discuss this now, because I don't think it is correct.
"As you know, Kimi has a contract with us next year, and this is what we can say now. We are happy with the performance of Kimi because he is playing fantastically, he is driving very, very well.
"The team is very, very happy in the way that he is performing - above all in the second part of the season when I have to say that with the last five races, he was always on the podium and he scored, I think after Barrichello, the highest points, who is fighting for the championship."
Raikkonen is believed to be weighing up offers from the McLaren and Brawn GP teams while his negotiations about paying off his 2010 contract continue. His departure would make way for Fernando Alonso, who the team is determined to slot into the Maranello outfit.
Despite the long-term doubts about Raikkonen's place at the team, Domenicali did praise the way that the Finn had performed in recent races.
"I think that Kimi, as we have seen in the second part of the season, he is really very, very strong, very consistent, always on the podium and always there. For sure he has improved significantly but he is the Kimi that we know � he is the Kimi who was world champion with us two years ago, so we know that they can do that."
When asked if he expected the team to continue its run of five podium finishes, Domenicali said: "I hope that we can be on the podium in the next five races. I think that he can do it.
"Kimi is very, very good, he can do it. And with a performance that we really do not understand where all the different teams are, so if you are able as a team to maximize the performance then we can really be on the podium in the last four races for sure."