Kimi Raikkonen will not be racing in F1 next season, his manager Steve Robertson has confirmed. He is calling it a year off and time will tell if he ever races an F1 car again.
“The options in F1 were with McLaren next season or not at all,” Robertson said, “Kimi and McLaren were unable to reach an agreement, so he will not drive at the F1 level – at least not next year.
“A gap year means nothing for Kimi. He is more interested in fighting for wins and the world championship. F1 will miss Kimi. He worked hard over the summer – doing things in a Ferrari that only the best drivers are capable of.”
We have had over 200 comments in the last 24 hours to the post I wrote about Raikkonen’s situation and I thought I should let the fans speak today and this eloquent piece by Melanie was perfect for the moment. Raikkonen has a huge fan base, which is understandably disappointed by him dropping out. Melanie sums up the feelings of Kimi’s army of fans:
“It seems like in the F1 world today, there might not be a place anymore for a driver like Kimi.
Kimi is a real throwback to way that racing use to be. These days F1 drivers are just that; F1 drivers, with media personalities that constantly have to think about their image, the press and thanking the team. So few of them still show a bit of character, and few as often as Kimi.
Kimi is a racer and a gentleman at the same time, a very fair but hard racer who never says anything bad about anyone. It is somewhat ironic therefore that people or the press always have a lot to say about him. Kimi has a lot of integrity, something that seems to be sorely missing these days, although not just in F1.
And apart from that he is also a terrific racing driver, he has shown this year once again that he can wring that something extra out of a car.
Kimi is one of the most misunderstood figures in the paddock, after nine years in F1 many people are no closer to understanding Kimi then when he entered F1. Recently I watched an interview of him before he entered F1, and the man hasn’t changed one bit.
During the season F1 became pretty tedious at times. We had the liegate scandal, diffuser controversy, wars of bureaucracy between the FIA and FOTA, manufactures are running away in droves and to top it all off, a bit of race fixing. F1 is a wonderful sport but at times it becomes unbearable, and you sometimes wonder if it is really worth all the trouble and effort to follow it so feverishly.
But then you look at someone like Kimi Raikkonen, so uncomplicated and brilliant at the same time, and you see the way that F1 could be, and should be. Like the way he has handled his sacking from Ferrari, with so much class, something that is rarely seen these days. Or racing the fifth or sixth best car and placing it on the podium and even winning a race. Or thinking back to kimi and Lewis going for, giving it their all, on the last lap around a wet Spa. Or Lewis out qualifying the rest of grid by almost a second at Abu Dhabi. That is what it’s suppose to be about!
But that also makes it difficult for a person like Kimi, he loves racing and winning, and he will properly always be racing something. Therefore I dont think Kimi will ever be unmotivated when it comes to racing, but then F1 is hardly about any racing these days, is it? I can therefore quite easily understand Kimi’s love-hate attitude when it comes to F1. Politics and PR have taken over a lot of the sport.
But luckily Kimi will always be racing, and therefore we will always be able to see him in action going out and giving it his all. I know I will certainly be watching Kimi tackling the WRC. It will certainly be very tough and difficult to find a foothold there, for a driver with almost no experience, but if there is someone who would be able to it, it has got to be Kimi Raikkonen!
Meanwhile, allow me to feel a bit saddened as F1 could be losing one of its last best components. F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and it is suppose to be about the best competing against each other, Kimi is still a lot better then many others who will still be around.”