At 41 and with 330 Grand Prix starts under his belt, Kimi Raikkonen is F1’s senior citizen, but what has kept the Finn on the grid for so long.
When Ferrari announced in September of 2018 that it would replace Raikkonen with young gun Charles Leclerc for the following season, many were those in the F1 paddock who believed that the Iceman would call it a day on his 16-year career at the pinnacle of motorsport and head into a comfortable retreat.
However, with his passion and motivation intact, Raikkonen sealed a deal in short order with Sauber to extend his stay in F1, albeit in the midfield.
Two years on, the Iceman is on the eve of his 19th season of Grand Prix racing, his third with Alfa Romeo Racing. And his love of the sport remains unblemished.
“Everything that serves to make the car faster or to drive better, that’s why I still do it and why I want to keep going,” he told Formula 1 Magazine.
“If I didn’t like it anymore, I would stop. That makes sense to me. Then I wouldn’t waste my time traveling the world.
“That is the condition for me to continue: that I like it.”
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While Raikkonen would certainly love to contend for race wins – his last triumph in F1 dates back to the 2018 US Grand Prix – he appears content to wind down his time in the sport by taking pleasure simply working with his crews and driving.
“Even if you drive for a top team, there is no guarantee that you can win races,” he said. “One team [Mercedes] currently dominates and the other eighteen cars have little chance.
“So yes, sometimes you win races and sometimes you don’t, but it’s rare at all. In any case, I still enjoy the driving and the work.”
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