Vasseur Admits to ‘Question Marks’ Over Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo F1 Seat

Published 07/03/2021, 2:14 PM EDT
Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 19, 2021 Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen during a press conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Sebastien Nogier


With the summer breaks approaching, F1 teams are working to finalize their driver’s lineup for the next season either by extending the current driver contract or by signing a new driver in order to reassure their future.

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While the 2022 season is a long ways away, Lewis Hamilton’s contract extension has led to questions about the futures of all drivers who run out of contracts at the end of this year.

One such driver is Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, and several believe that 2021 is his last season in F1.

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In fact, his team boss, Frederic Vasseur, confirms that there are doubts over the Finn’s future in the sport.

Watch Story: From Drunk Gala to Dry Responses: Kimi Raikkonen’s Funniest Moments

Kimi Raikkonen and Alfa Romeo’s future is uncertain

Kimi Raikkonen is in his 19th F1 season with Alfa Romeo, and given his age, there is serious uncertainty regarding Finn’s future in F1 next season. In addition to his age, Kimi’s performance doesn’t help his case either.

Despite having less experience than the 2007 world champion, the Italian has out-qualified the Iceman on six out of eight occasions.

Speaking about Kimi’s future with the team, Vasseur said, “Things are moving. For sure we have a question mark around Kimi but Antonio is improving.

“[On Friday in Austria] he showed us that the pace could be there but he had the lap time deleted. [And he produced] a very strong lap again this afternoon.” 

Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021. Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Anton Vaganov.

“But I hope that he is still improving. And we will be able to help him also to correct the small details and be at Antonio’s level in quali soon.”

Alfa Romeo not keen on drivers relaxing

While many teams like to finalize contracts as early as possible to give them a sense of certainty, that is not the case with Alfa Romeo; they want to keep their drivers “under pressure” unit the end of the season.

Last year too, Raikkonen and Giovinazzi‘s futures were uncertain until the end of October, and the two could face a similar wait before their fate beyond 2021 is decided by the team.

When asked about the next season’s drivers lineup, Vasseur said, “First, I think that to keep the system under pressure is always a good thing.

“I don’t want to commit for a long time, I don’t want to say ‘OK guys now we all relax’, I want to keep everybody under pressure. Formula 1 is all about pressure and we have to keep it like this.”

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frederic Vasseur during a press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Furthermore, Frederic Vasseur believes they are in no rush to announce the 2022 drivers lineup and will wait for the F1 giants Mercedes and Red Bull’s decision.

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“We know perfectly that the grid will be filled from the top. Mr [Toto] Wolff will make his own decision and then Mr [Christian] Horner and then at one stage it will come to us. We are not in a rush to take this kind of decision.”

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What do you think? Can we witness Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi at Alfa Romeo next season? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Pingaksh Sharma

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