Even if Kimi Raikkonen completes his great Formula 1 career at the end of 2021, Alfa Romeo team boss Fred Vasseur wants to fall back on the tremendous experience of the Finnish driver. What «Iceman» says about it.
On September 1st, Kimi Raikkonen announced via Instagram: “That’s it. This is my last season in Formula 1. That is a decision I made last winter. It wasn’t easy for me, but after this season it will be time to try something new. ”
The 2007 Formula 1 champion later said: “I’m very relaxed, I didn’t make the decision yesterday. And as you know, I have experience with leaving Formula 1! The premier class was never my life, even if I had dedicated a lot of my life to it. It was always important to me to have a real life next to it. What I’m going to do now, I don’t know yet. There is no plan. Except that I want to have more time for the family, and that is one of the most important reasons why I no longer want to be a Formula 1 driver. Family life has always been determined by my GP timetable, and I want to change that. ”
Alfa Romeo team boss Fred Vasseur is reluctant to let the 21-time GP winner go. He can envision an advisory role for Kimi at Alfa Romeo. But Kimi contradicts my colleague Heikki Kulta: “I don’t see myself in such a role. Because in the end my travel plan would be the same as before, and then I can continue as a driver right away. That would be pointless.”
While the 41-year-old doesn’t rule out a part-time job, he said about his future: “I really haven’t planned anything, not even in terms of motorsport. I don’t want to be tied to a certain scheme for a while. I’ll let it all happen to me. As far as Formula 1 is concerned, you will hardly see me again – at least not as a GP expert for television. When I didn’t drive Formula 1 for two years, I didn’t get to the track either, yes, I didn’t even watch a race at the time.”
Kimi Raikkonen finished eighth in Sochi: “Of course, it’s better to score points than to finish the race outside of the top ten. I was also happy that my team finally had a sense of achievement again. The speed in the race was okay, but most of all we set the tire change perfectly, that was the key to 8th place.”
This weekend Kimi “hopefully expects a little more grip than a year ago, when I just slipped around and came second to last. But that wasn’t normal at the time.”
Raikkonen is one of only three Turkish winners in the field: Kimi won the GP premiere in 2005, Lewis Hamilton won 2010 and 2020, Sebastian Vettel 2011. The other four victories at the Istanbul Park race track went to Felipe Massa (2006, 2007 and 2008 ) and Jenson Button (2009).