DRIVER MARKET: 'Bigger picture' key to decision on F1 future says Raikkonen
“I haven’t decided yet.” Kimi Raikkonen kept it short and sweet when asked about his future in F1 beyond the end of this season, but did move to explain some of the thinking behind his deliberations…
The Finn, 40, signed a two-year deal with Alfa Romeo, which expires at the end of 2020, and while he was a contender for points throughout last year, he has failed to make it into the top 10 in six attempts this season.
Speaking at Spa ahead of this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Raikkonen was asked a series of questions about his future. Should he choose to stick with F1, would the former World Champion stay at Alfa Romeo or look elsewhere?
“I don’t know,” he said. “First of all I need to decide what I will do. Right now, that’s the first thing to decide. I don’t see it would change anything – if I race with them or I don’t race. Until I decide what I do, those things are not really in my list.”
He added: “My decision is based on what I feel is right for me.”
My decision is based on what I feel is right for me
Part of the reason Raikkonen opted to sign for Alfa Romeo is that their Swiss factory in Hinwil is close to home, allowing him to spend more time with his family. So it’s perhaps no surprise to hear the Finn admit his wife and two kids would play a key role in his decision about his future.
“[If I have a good car or not] makes a difference [to my decision],” he said. “I’d much rather race in good positions and fight for points, but it’s never guaranteed, wherever you go, if it’s going to be good or bad.
“Bigger picture is much more important for me [regarding his decision]. Family comes first. The kids are getting bigger. This year I have been able to be home more, so it’s great.
“There will be a point when I want to be home and do other things, but I don’t know yet.”
His team mate Antonio Giovinazzi’s future is also not yet confirmed, the Italian’s arrangement with Alfa Romeo expiring at the end of the year.
The 26-year-old, who scored points in the season-opener in Austria, said: “It’s still a bit too early, just did six races. I just know I need to continue like I’m doing, be consistent, be competitive, and then we’ll see.”