On Tuesday I posted about the future of Kimi Raikkonen and how his attitudes differ greatly from his predecessor, Michael Schumacher. I added a poll to the bottom of the post and allowed you guys to have your say. As I type this post (Thursday evening) 54 of you have voted and Raikkonen himself has gone on record to clarify a few points regarding his future with Ferrari and Formula One. While Kimi was reluctant to commit to anything (as you’d expect), his answers reflected those of the poll and also the comments accompanying the post.
It appears from the comments that Raikkonen is perceived as a gritty racer who lives for the thrill of iracing rather than the records book and status he may get from it. From this, 31% of you think that the Finn will retire after the 2009 season. It is likely that Raikkonen will win another title between now and the end of 2009 – not guaranteed of course, but quite likely. The end of 2009 also marks the end of his current contract with Ferrari.
Closely following the group of people who feel that Kimi will retire after 2009 are those who think that he’ll walk away after his second or third title. I added this as an option in the poll not because the timeframe necessarily varies, but the mentality does. And a lot of you seem to agree, with 30% of voters going for this option.
Of the final three options, 12% went for Kimi lasting beyond 2010. The least number of votes went for Raikkonen retiring at the end of this season. It does seem unlikely that the Finn would call it quits while he is still employed by the Scuderia, and I don’t feel that Raikkonen has the same relationship with the team that Schumacher had; Schumacher was offered the choice to retire whenever he wished, or at least that’s how the PR went.
So what does the man himself have to say on the subject…
I haven’t made any decision if I’m going to keep going or not. That is the last contract I have and we will see what happens this year and next year.
I wouldn’t stop if I felt I would miss it afterwards. For sure I would find something else to do and maybe that I would enjoy more. I don’t know what is going to happen after next year, I haven’t made my mind up. Who knows maybe I make my decision this year. Kimi Raikkonen.
Of course, Kimi was being vague and we shouldn’t expect anything different until the time is right for an announcement to be made. However, Raikkonen clearly says that should he quit he would find something else to do, indicating that he has other interests other than racing cars. Kimi is a keen motorcyclist, and is also known to be a dab hand at snowboarding and racing skidoos. In fact, the Ferrari driver has been spotted competing on snow under the name of James Hunt, a driver the Finn respects.
I think I will race as long as I enjoy it, it is the right thing for me. It could be in four years’ time. It is too early to say.
Everyone in F1 is here because they love racing and driving, but when there are too many things that you don’t enjoy or too many things you don’t want it is time to go away. Kimi Raikkonen.
It is my belief that Raikkonen will be a man of his word and continue racing until he gets tired of it. Although some of you think that Kimi is already getting bored of racing. Again, from the comments…
I wonder if some drivers are finding modern F1 so unlike racing they’re actually getting bored with it? Keith Collantine.
He is not concerned with proving anything, just wants to race (he’s probably one of those adrenalin junkies), and is getting less and less fun out of modern F1. He’ll be snowboarding or climbing mountains without ropes in 2010. Clive Allen.
I think he will retire at the end of his current deal and enjoy the rest of his life, using the money he has earned to feed his habit risk associated actitives – snowboarding for example. Thomas Rooney.
I’m sure speculation will continue until confirmed whichever way, and that could be for a while yet. But until then the driver’s market is left open and potential pilots are left hanging on. Fernando Alonso is probably the front-runner for Kimi’s seat, but Robert Kubica and Sebastian Vettel are known to be in with a chance as well. Perhaps now would be a good time to take up chess…