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Autosport 22 Oct 20
Kimi Raikkonen has been one of the most popular Formula 1 drivers of the past two decades. Amid the sport’s PR and politics his irreverent personality can be very appealing – and he is now the most experienced F1 driver ever, with 323 starts and counting.
Autosport has been vocal at times about Raikkonen not always delivering on the incredible ability he demonstrated early on in his career, particularly at McLaren. We stand by the argument that Ferrari kept him for too long & witness Charles Leclerc’s almost immediate, outstanding impact with the team ? but there is also no doubt that the 2007 world champion still has plenty to offer a midfield squad.
Raikkonen’s experience can help Alfa Romeo try to get the best out of a less-than-perfect machine and, as he tells Alex Kalinauckas in an enlightening interview on page 16, that challenge is one of the things that has kept the 41-year-old interested in F1 for almost half his life.
Should Raikkonen have won more? Yes, probably, but he cares a lot less about that than many fans or observers. He has managed to get a work-life balance while operating at the highest level of his chosen profession. He works hard at the track, but he does not have an all-consuming intensity in the Michael Schumacher mould.
That perhaps helps to explain both why he is only a one-time
world champion and why he is still in F1.