Will Kimi Räikkönen, 40, continue his F1 career? That’s a burning issue for motorsport enthusiasts.
Now this question is weighed up by Ilta-Sanomat's good friend Räikkönen and Toni Vilander, known as Ferrari's GT driver and F1 expert.
Alfa Romeo's competitiveness in the F1 series has been poor and Räikkönen is stuck in stern battles with his slow drive. Räikkönen, 40, has only the current season left on his Alfa Romeo contract.
Is the motivation of the 2007 world champion still enough in F1, or would it be time to move on to so-called other jobs and give the family even more time?
In some contexts, it has even been speculated that Räikkönen would throw the Driving Gloves on the counter already this season and leave the season rude. Vilander, 40, who has known Räikkönen since childhood, acknowledges such speeches as nonsense.
- No, Kimi would do that. He is a professional and is sure to drive what has been agreed. It is not part of the Finnish mood to start throwing a towel in the ring, Vilander acknowledges.
Therefore, it remains to be weighed, will Räikkönen continue his career after this season? Vilander looks at it from many angles. He first explains the matter by telling about Räikkönen's fundamental problem.
- I know Kim is annoyed. The feeling and driving desires would be huge, but when those devices don’t work. It frustrates him quite horribly.
- That's the problem. It’s hard for Kimi to dig the motivation to continue if the promise of an alpha ride or even a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel isn’t in sight, Vilander says.
Toni Vilander is a friend of Kimi Räikkönen and an insider of Ferrari.
Photo: Kari Mankonen
Vilander does not believe that Räikkönen will continue if Alfa Romeo does not improve its competitiveness. Räikkönen is hardly ready to drive for the second season in a row from jumbos.
- After all, Kim is not just a participant, but she wants to succeed.
The speed of Kimi Räikkönen's Alfa Romeo is not convincing either.
Photo: Hoch Zwei / Zuma
But is Alfa Romeo the only option? Could Räikkönen still find another stable in F1? Of course, Räikkönen is already a veteran, but he still has a market value and a possible transfer to the team in question would bring a lot of publicity.
Vilander doesn’t knock out the idea of a move. For Räikkönen, however, moving to another stable at this point in his career would be a place of extreme “foundation”.
Räikkönen has profiled himself especially as a man in the Italian car industry, as he has competed with its products in recent years, namely Ferrari and Alfa Romeo. In addition, Räikkönen won his 2007 world championship at Ferrari. He is still Ferrari’s latest world driver.
The above things must be taken into account if a leap into the colors of another stable would become topical. Is it worth looking at the Italian Fiat-Chrysler Group and Ferrari, which is very close to it, because of the “once again boys” project, by moving elsewhere in the final meters of the career?
- Kimi has been very loyal to Ferrari and Fiat-Chrysler. There is an order for Kim in the direction of Ferrari, at least as such a brand ambassador, and there may be more on offer there when the career in F1 sometimes ends. That's what Kimi is sure to think about really now, says Vilander, who has been a Ferrari insider for many years through his GT career.
Kimi Räikkönen took the boast in honor of the 2007 World Championships in Brazil - and specifically in Ferrari's overalls.
According to Vilander, there are now very interesting times going on for Räikkönen.
- Solutions need to be made here at some point. Little by little, those driving spots in that now go, Vilander says.