With a record 329 race starts to his name, Kimi Raikkonen is now officially the most experienced driver in the illustrious history of F1. Many expected him to call time on his career after the 2020 season. However, not only will he line up on the grid for the upcoming season but quite possibly prolong his stay further in spite of the incoming 2022 technical regulations.
This season will officially part ways with the current cars. The much-awaited rules will redefine the aerodynamic makeup of the car with an intention to produce a more spectacular wheel-to-wheel combat.
It will also potentially witness a movement in the driver market coupled with a few exoduses. The 2007 World Champion will be 42 years old by then, and many in the F1 community believe he’ll the favorite to bid farewell.
However, Team Principal and CEO Frederic Vasseur is hinting at a different outcome while keeping his cards close to his chest. When asked if Kimi would stay on for 2022, he pragmatically replied, “Yeah, but we treat it one by one.
“We have to be realistic and stay focused on this year and see what happens next year. I don’t want to think about ’23 or ’24. Let’s do ’21 and then have the discussion during the course of the season.”
Ferrari Academy drivers, Callum Ilott and Robert Schwartzman, are the emerging talents of the sport. They were apparently in contention for Kimi‘s race seat. However, the team wished to keep the Finn, if he was ready to brace himself for a hectic 23-race calendar.
“It is clear we wanted to get Kimi on board. It was more a method of motivation for him that he knew at some stage it would become difficult, that’s for sure,” said Vasseur.
“He is motivated and doing a good job. For sure, with 23 races it will be tough but it will be tough for everybody. It will be tough for me also but I think the motivation is there, that is the most important for me.”