Raikkonen likely to quit F1 at end of Ferrari contract

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Kimi Raikkonen has revealed that he will probably retire from Formula 1 upon the expiration of his contract with Ferrari at the end of the 2015 season.

The Finn enjoyed his finest hour in F1 with the Italian marque, winning the 2007 world championship. However, relations soon soured, and he left both the team and the sport at the end of 2009.

He made a phenomenal comeback with Lotus in 2012, but after the team began to struggle financially and failed to pay Raikkonen, he opted to return to Ferrari for 2014. The move was intended to allow both the driver and the team to relive their glory days and get back to the front of the field, but he has scored just 19 points in the first eight races this year, with a best finish of seventh.

Many questions have been asked about his motivation, and he confirmed to the media in England that he will probably leave F1 to pursue other racing interests once his Ferrari deal ends.

“Until my contract expires and then I will probably stop,” Raikkonen said when asked about quitting the sport. “This is what I think is going to happen.”

Raikkonen enjoyed a spell of rallying during his break from F1, and also took part in a one-off NASCAR race. For him, solely racing in F1 is too narrow minded.

“I tried many things and I think there is no harm in it,” he said. “It doesn’t take anything from me doing F1. I think it can only help. You always learn if you try different things.”

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

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Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski