Dutch Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen says Formula 1 'has never been my life'

Dutch Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen says Formula 1 ‘has never been my life’

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen said that Formula 1 “has never been my life” in his first interview since announcing his retirement from the sport.

The 41-year-old Finn, who won the 2007 world title with Ferrari, said he had no plans for his future and “right now I am not interested to think about it”.

“F1 takes a lot of time from our lives but it has never been the main thing in my life,” Raikkonen said.

“I live my life outside and do normal things and from that side it’s fine.”

Raikkonen will leave F1 at the end of the season as its most experienced ever driver, with 21 grand prix victories and with his image as a singular, no-nonsense yet charismatic personality intact to the end.

“I always said it as it is,” he added. “The purpose to come here is the driving. There are a lot of other things but they have never been for me the reasons to be here.

“I had a good run. I’m happy with what I achieved. It is not easy to win. I wanted to win a championship. I got close one or two times and it happened with Ferrari. Happy it happened, especially with them.

“I had fun and I did it my way. I wouldn’t change a single thing. No complaints.”

Raikkonen added that he had made no decisions on what he was going to do with the rest of his life, not even whether he would continue to race elsewhere.

“No plans,” he said. “I don’t want to have some schedule put on, because obviously the last 18, 19 years in F1, since I started, and I did rallying in those two [sabbatical] years, there was always a schedule, what is coming next on this date or that date.

“I don’t want that. That’s for sure one of the big reasons I wanted to do something else, that life doesn’t go because of the race or whatever it is, the work that is involved in F1.

“So I’m not in a rush. I’ve not even thought about it at all yet.”

Tributes for Raikkonen poured in from his rivals and colleagues.

His former Ferrari team-mate, the four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, said: “He has been around a long time and is an incredible talent. Seeing that first-hand was impressive, the amount of speed he has right from the get-go, the ability to get used to different conditions. He earned his place and had a long and great career.”

Lewis Hamilton said Raikkonen would be “missed” and another former Ferrari team-mate, Fernando Alonso, joined the Briton in saying he was “always fair – tough but fair”.

“You knew you could trust Kimi,” Alonso said. “He would never do anything that put you in danger.”

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