F1: No ‘special emotions’ as longest career ends
(GMM) Kimi Raikkonen says he feels no special emotions except perhaps impatience as his longest-ever Formula 1 career finally draws to a close next Sunday.
The 42-year-old is also the oldest active driver on the grid, having won the title in 2007 and 21 grands prix victories for top teams including McLaren and Ferrari.
“I don’t know why I should feel special emotions,” the Finn answered when asked about his looming retirement.
“I look forward to the moment when I finish my career,” Raikkonen insisted. “I’m glad it’s over soon.
“So there is nothing sad or bad about it. I think everything is fine.”
Last week, Raikkonen and his family were invited to Alfa Romeo’s Hinwil factory for a farewell party, which he says was “nice”.
But it is purely business as usual for the final Middle Eastern trek of his entire Formula 1 career through Saudi Arabia and then the 2021 finale in Abu Dhabi.
“The last grand prix is just a race where we will try our best,” he said.
“This is a new track for us,” Raikkonen said in Saudi Arabia, “so let’s see what happens.
“But I will do the same as always. I hope I will get a decent result and enjoy the process.”
It is clear that Raikkonen will be remembered as a totally unique character in the history of Formula 1 – distinct from the ultra-professional youngsters of the new generation.
“I didn’t even walk around the track at the last race,” he said in Saudi Arabia when asked how he has and will prepare for the ultra high-speed Jeddah street layout.
“If you brake 50 to 100 meters before a corner, depending on your pace, it’s usually pretty close to right.
“As long as you see which direction the bend is turning, it should be just fine.”
Therefore, it is no surprise to hear what Raikkonen’s plans are for Sunday afternoons in 2022 and beyond.
“I don’t know if I will watch or not, but I doubt that I will set an alarm so I don’t miss the start,” said the Finn.
“But I’m sure I will watch some races.”