Kimi Raikkonen remains in F1 for the racing, not the glamour
Kimi Raikkonen was confirmed as a Ferrari driver for 2018 on Tuesday. The former world champion says he is staying in Formula 1 purely for the racing and that he would leave if he did not feel he could be competitive.
The enigmatic Finn, usually of few words, spoke to the media ahead of Sunday’s Belgium Grand Prix and made it very clear that he is here for the racing and has no time for anything else.
“It’s purely the racing,” Raikkonen said. “I enjoy the racing, and obviously I want to do well. If I didn’t feel that I can go fast, and I wouldn’t be happy in myself, I wouldn’t be here. I have zero interest to waste my time or the team’s time to be a part of it. It’s not the nicest place to just hang around. The racing is the main thing.
“There are a lot of other sides to F1, but as long as racing is the biggest part, that’s it. As long as I feel that I can win races and fight for championships then that’s fine. When I don’t feel like that, I will be the first guy to do something else.”
While Raikkonen has had his Ferrari seat confirmed, championship leader Sebastian Vettel has yet to make a decision on where his future may lie — although, so long as Lewis Hamilton remains with Mercedes, it is difficult to imagine Vettel leaving the Scuderia.
Regarding his teammate, Raikkonen was full of praise and said that he hoped the two drivers could continue their Ferrari partnership into 2018 and beyond.
“We work very well together, as does the whole team,” Raikkonen continued. “It’s a good way of working but obviously I am not the one who decides. Sebastian is the best teammate. We get on very well together, so hopefully it all stays the same as it is now.”
Ferrari has had an up-and-down season and knows it must continue to push the boundaries of the SF70H if it is to be successful in becoming the first team to defeat Mercedes across the season since the hybrid era began in 2014.
“We want to do well, you want to improve,” Raikkonen said. “I guess you always find things to do better and try to find more speed. Lately it’s been a bit better. We’ve been feeling a bit more comfortable and been able to drive as we want, and the result suddenly looks a bit better. I’m confident that we are doing right things and getting where we want to.”