Hamilton says F1 would miss Raikkonen as Ferrari exit looms

Lewis Hamilton believes Formula 1 will miss Kimi Raikkonen as speculation mounts Ferrari will replace the Finn with Charles Leclerc next season.

Hamilton says F1 would miss Raikkonen as Ferrari exit looms
Listen to this article

Raikkonen, who turns 39 next month, qualified on pole for last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix but was denied a first win of the season by Hamilton.

Suggestions over the Monza weekend indicated Ferrari’s new hierarchy has committed to honouring the late Sergio Marchionne’s wish to promote Leclerc from Sauber for 2019.

And there has since been strong speculation that Leclerc's Ferrari move will be made official as early as Thursday.

Asked after the Italian GP if he would miss Raikkonen, Hamilton said: “I think it’s always a difficult question to say if you miss someone. I think the sport would naturally miss him, yeah.

“I made it no secret that before I even got to Formula 1, when I was playing the PlayStation I was always Kimi in the McLaren, imagining that was me.

“Then I remember the first car I drove at McLaren, which was Kimi’s set-up and the suspension that he would use.

“It was an amazing experience and it was cool because I think our driving style was kind of similar, which meant that I ended up being quite comfortable with the set-up that he used back then.

“He’s had an incredible career and it’s been a real honour to race against a great Finn such as him.

“He looks like he’s just ice-cold. He’s just got plenty of years left in him. He’s not seeming to age.”

Raikkonen has started 284 grands prix but has not added to his 20 victories since rejoining Ferrari in 2014.

He is third in this year’s championship, 62 points behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel in second, with nine podiums from 14 races – and second place in Italy was his 100th in F1.

Ross Brawn, F1’s sporting chief, said: “I don’t know what Kimi’s short-term plans are, whether he’ll stay at Ferrari, join another team or leave Formula 1 altogether.

“But I do think that during his interview by his former teammate Felipe Massa [on the podium after the race], he became quite emotional watching the huge sea of fans flocking across the track to stand under the podium and chant his name.

“Since I returned to Formula 1 last year, I’ve noticed how Kimi has lightened up.

“It can be spotted in a host of little things, such as spending a bit more time signing autographs or smiling for cameras that in the past would usually have only elicited a scowl.

“This year, he is certainly driving better than at any time since he returned to Ferrari and maybe another chance [to win] will come along soon.”

Pole sitter Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari in parc ferme

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, in parc ferme

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Sutton Images

shares
comments
FIA to discuss Sauber DRS issue with F1 teams' tech chiefs
Previous article

FIA to discuss Sauber DRS issue with F1 teams' tech chiefs

Next article

No new manufacturers in F1 for 2021, says Todt

No new manufacturers in F1 for 2021, says Todt
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022