Getty Images

Raikkonen on new Ferrari F1 deal: “I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t want to”

1 Comment

Kimi Raikkonen has shrugged off continual questions regarding his motivation for racing in Formula 1 just days after agreeing to a new one-year deal with Ferrari.

Raikkonen, 37, has gained a reputation in F1 for his direct, no-nonsense approach, which has often been mistaken for a lack of passion or motivation.

The oldest driver on the grid, Raikkonen was announced by Ferrari as being part of its 2018 line-up earlier this week, extending his second stint with the team into a fifth season.

Raikkonen was asked why he felt it was the right move for him during Thursday’s FIA press conference ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, with the Finn offering a typical Kimi-esque response.

“Well, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t want to, and be happy with it. Obviously the team feels the same way so, y’know…” Raikkonen said, tailing off.

‘The Iceman’ offered a more insightful answer regarding his motivation for staying on in F1 later in the press conference, proving that beneath his monosyllabic exterior lies a hardened, determined racer.

“Obviously I want to do well. If I did not feel that I can go fast I wouldn’t be happy in myself,” Raikkonen said.

“If I wasn’t driving, I wouldn’t be here. I have zero interest to waste my time or the team’s time to be a part of it. It’s not the nicest place to just hang around.

“So the racing is the main thing. Yes, there’s a lot of other sides of F1, but as long as the racing is the biggest part, then that’s it. and as long as I feel myself that I can win races and fight for championships then that’s fine.

“When I don’t feel like that, I will be the first guy to do something else.”

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.