Kimi Raikkonen says it wasn’t a difficult decision to extend his Formula 1 career, which is already the longest for any driver, by another year.Rubens Barrichello’s record for most grand prix starts earlier this year. His new contract to drive for the team, announced today, could see him reach 350 starts during the 2021 F1 season.
Raikkonen is already the sport’s oldest driver and will turn 42 during his 19th season in the sport next year. But he said it wasn’t a hard decision to commit to another season.
“I don’t think it was anything difficult,” he said. “There was many aspects from the team’s side: What they want to do, what I want to do, and obviously there’s other things in a life that you need to look into.
“But in the end it made sense from my side and obviously for their side, and once we started to talk about it, it wasn’t such a long process. So it was quite straightforward in the end.”
The 2007 world champion has scored just two points in a difficult campaign this year, partly as a result of the team’s uncompetitive Ferrari power unit. Raikkonen said he hopes Alfa Romeo “do a lot better than this year” in 2021.
“Obviously as a team none of us are happy where we are but unfortunately this is the situation right now and the aim is to improve and be a lot better off. But there is no guarantee on anything so we have to simply do a better job overall and hopefully next year we’ll be a bit happier with things and be where we expect to be.”
Raikkonen is the only driver in the field who has raced at Imola previously in Formula 1. He said he enjoys driving at the circuit but hasn’t previously had the results to show it.
“I haven’t been around the track since the days that we raced here. I think the last chicane is missing but the rest of it is pretty much the same apart from some kerbs might be different. It’s nice to come back.
“I always enjoyed the track. I never really had a very good time, I think we did well but we never really finished the races very well. But I always enjoyed the track to drive and hopefully it’s the same tomorrow when we go again.”
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2020 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix
- An F1 marshal explains why Stroll’s Imola near-miss raises safety concerns
- McLaren must seek “smallest gains” in qualifying to fight for third
- Russell writes letter of apology to Williams team for Safety Car crash
- Pirelli begins probe into Verstappen tyre failure
- FIA “evaluating changes” after marshal near-miss Vettel and Grosjean called “dangerous”