Kimi Raikkonen has been a Formula 1 driver since 2001 – The Finn started with Sauber, then he was recruited by McLaren in his second year alongside David Coulthard. He then drove for Ferrari, Lotus, Ferrari and now Alfa Romeo.
Many in the paddock think that this year will be the eighteenth and last season for the 40-year-old driver on the grid, because the Alfa Romeo is not competitive, Raikkonen’s motivation is decreasing and juniors like Mick Schumacher are waiting in the wings to take his place.
However, according to Finnish journalist Niki Juusela, the 2007 World Champion may be too experienced and competitive for Alfa Romeo to let him go:
“The truth is that if you look at the teams with Ferrari engines, Charles Leclerc is clearly the leader. But after him, it’s Raikkonen…
“When we talk about his contract, it is obvious that the two Haas drivers are clearly weaker.”
The Finnish journo then uses some rather interesting maths to confirm his bias.
“Antonio Giovinazzi is also behind in the races, whereas for Sebastian Vettel, it is a completely different story…
“Among the drivers using Ferrari engines, Raikkonen is clearly second. This shows how much Kimi’s driving skills are in demand, he is the second best Ferrari driver. Full stop”
“I think he has to stay in Formula 1 for at least another year and I’ve heard that he also wants a new contract, so he wants to continue racing in F1”.
At present, Raikkonen is level pegging in points with Antonio Giovinazzi with 2 a piece. Vettel is ahead with 17 points and Leclerc on 49. The Haas driver of Kevin Magnussen is behind Kimi with a single point, and Romain Grosjean has yet to score.