‘He is Motivated’ – Alfa Romeo Boss Hints at Kimi Raikkonen Staying in F1 After 2021

Published 02/06/2021, 4:55 AM EST
BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 19: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Alfa Romeo Racing looks on at the roll out of the Alfa Romeo Racing C39 Ferrari during day one of Formula 1 Winter Testing at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 19, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Charles Coates/Getty Images)


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.

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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.

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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.”

VASSEUR Frederic, Team Principal of Alfa Romeo Racing, portrait during 2019 Formula 1 FIA world championship, Bahrain Grand Prix, at Sakhir from march 29 to 31 – Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Kimi Raikkonen ‘committed and motivated’ at Alfa Romeo F1

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.

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2019 FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX (19 September 2019) – Zone 1 – Paddock Club – Drivers’ Autograph Session Alfa RomeoÕs Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi Singapore Grand Prix via Reuters Plus

“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.”

The Alfa Romeo CEO is just re-iterating a point that Kimi himself made earlier. While we may think from the outside that the ice-cold driver does not care, this vindicates his passion for the sport.

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Bharat Aggarwal

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Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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