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Raikkonen undecided on F1 future

Mat Coch

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Friday 28th August, 2020 - 10:22am

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Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen has not yet decided whether he’ll continue in Formula 1 beyond the end of the 2020 season.

The Alfa Romeo driver is the oldest on the grid and is in the final year of a two-year deal with the Swiss-based squad.

“I don’t know,” he responded when asked if he knew whether he’d continue next season.

“First of all I need to decide what I will do, and then we’ll see. Obviously right now, that’s the first thing to decide.”

The 40-year-old was also undecided whether his future was tied with Alfa Romeo, the commercial name for what is the Sauber F1 team.

Raikkonen made his F1 debut with Sauber in 2001, before joining McLaren the following year and Ferrari for 2007.

He then had a stint out of F1 before joining Lotus, Ferrari, and finally Alfa Romeo for 2019.

“I don’t really see that it would change anything if I race with them, or I don’t race,” he reasoned.

“Like I said, until I decide what I do, those things are not really on my list.”

The 2007 world champion also admitted that car performance and results would not be the only factor in whether he elected to continue in his career into a 19th F1 season.

“Obviously that also makes a difference; I’d much rather race in a good position and fighting for the points, but honestly, that’s never guaranteed wherever you go in a new year that it’s going to be good or bad,” he ventured.

“I think the bigger picture is much more important for me. First of all comes the family, and obviously the kids are getting bigger.

“This year I’ve been able to be more at home, so it’s great, but I think that really is what (will influence) either I race or not.

“There’s going to be a point where I want to be home, and do other things.”

Alfa Romeo has strong links with Ferrari, which has placed Antonio Giovinazzi at the team.

The Scuderia has a number of Academy drivers on the fringes of F1, which could be promoted next year should a seat be available.

In the twilight of his career, Raikkonen scoffed at suggestions that he might elect to step aside to afford one of those drivers an opportunity – as it has been suggested Mika Hakkinen did so for him at McLaren in 2002.

“I doubt that he left just for me,” reasoned Raikkonen.

“I’m pretty sure he had other other things in his mind than what happens to me.

“I had a three-year contract anyhow in Sauber.

“People maybe looked at it that way, he purely left for being a nice guy and giving me the position, but it just doesn’t work like that.

“And honestly, my decision is based on what I feel like it’s right for me, and is nothing to do with if it helps somebody or not.

“If you want to do it, fine, do it, but that’s not how I make my decisions.”

Raikkonen is yet record a points-paying finish in 2020, his best result an 11th place at the Styrian Grand Prix.

Formula 1 is in action this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Opening practice begins at 19:00 AEST this evening.

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