Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Monza, 2018

Raikkonen learned he’d lost Ferrari drive at Monza

2018 Singapore Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen revealed his deal to drive for Sauber in the 2019 F1 season came about after he learned he’d lost his Ferrari drive during the Italian Grand Prix weekend.

“Obviously I know people from there from the past,” said Raikkonen, who made his Formula 1 debut for Sauber in 2001. “Basically it started after that.”

However he denied that returning to his first team was a long-held ambition. “I don’t think it’s always been there,” he said. “Obviously you never know in here what will happen. This is just how it end up to be going actually. I wouldn’t say this has been planned for a long time this is going to happen.”

Raikkonen refused to elaborate on why he chose to join Sauber. “I have my reasons and that’s enough for me. I don’t really care what others think as long as I’m happy with my own reasons it’s enough for me.”

The 38-year-old is set to break Rubens Barrichello’s record for most F1 starts during his two-year deal with the midfield team. Despite not having win a race for the last five years, Raikkonen said he still gets satisfaction from racing.

“I always said I will stop when I feel it’s right for me,” he said. “Obviously the racing is that part I enjoy most and that’s why we are here.

“Obviously it’s always been a big part of the race weekend all the other stuff and it’s normal for us. But it’s not the reason to come here. The reason is to drive and race.

“It’s not the big part of the weekend any more as it used to be, because obviously everything changes a bit. That’s the only reason, really.

“All the stuff that comes with it is very normal, it’s always been there. It comes with the package. It’s not often that you get the package that you only have the good things of. It’s OK. We all know each other so it’s the same answers, same questions every time so it’s not too difficult.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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41 comments on “Raikkonen learned he’d lost Ferrari drive at Monza”

  1. Now Kimi has zero motivation to obey team orders and just drive for himself.

    1. I doubt he will intentionally try to take points away from SV. He’s still driving for a team and it’s sponsors. If he has any hard feelings, which I doubt he has, he still wouldn’t take that out on Seb on the track.

      1. I don’t think he will race to take points out of Vettel but at the same time, I don’t think he will just let Vettel pass him on-track if he thinks he has the speed to challenge for the win.
        He showed in Monza he still is good at wheel to wheel racing, and his hunger to win is still there.
        He knows for a fact, he will most definitely be not racing for wins with Sauber. So this season is his last shot at winning races, and he will go for that.
        He might let Vettel through in the last race or so, given that it will help Vettel to be the WC. I don’t see Kimi letting Vettel go through in any other scenario and I hope he doesn’t yield and race for himself.

      2. @robbie I agree with this, Kimi & Seb seem to get on well. Will be interesting to see what happens if Kimi is clearly in contention for a race win and Seb is right behind tho

        1. @3dom Yeah true, and it would likely depend on where LH was as to whether SV would be allowed the extra seven points. If LH was out due to unreliability, maybe they’d let Kimi have the win. Hard to say. Moreso if it was this weekend than if it was the second last race and Seb was still behind LH in points. In that circumstance I think Kimi would consider it a no-brainer to let Seb by.

    2. @ Chaitanya, Robbie: You’re talking nonsense, sorry. 2017 Monaco proves you wrong, 2017 Spain proves you wrong, 2018 Austria proves you wrong, 2018 Monza proves you wrong…. and other races too!! No team orders in all of those races, VET was behind…. yet he failed to win any of these races OR even improve his place!! In 2017 China he was stuck behind RIC, then VET came from behind and overtook both of them. Those maneouvers proved there was nothing staged. So, NO, RAI didn’t play it slow to keep VET ahead, it’s more like every year he has some good races in the 2nd part of the champ and that guaranteed him an extention of the contract. Plus, let’s not forget that VET put a good word for him inside the team. Otherwise, who knows, probably he was out of the team long time ago.

  2. Thought so, i said at the time he would of only raced Seb that hard if he knew he was out the door.

    He knew it was one of a few chances to snatch a win (perhaps his last)

    1. Tbf I don’t think he really raced Seb particularly hard, his defence was the minimum that I’d expect from a Ferrari driver on Pole in Monza. It’s right the he didn’t bend over backwards to let Seb past

    2. I thought the same. If the Ferrari management were happy with Seb, then Kimi sticks around. If they weren’t happy with Vettel, expect a more formidable driver in that 2nd Ferrari seat.

  3. And as we now know, this is what Vettel was referring too. Talk after. The knowledge that Kimi was no longer beholden to helping him.

    1. Considering Vettel’s habit of getting Kimi to sign first?

      Vettel hears that Kimi is getting replaced. Not happy. Kimi gets pole. Vettel wants to talk to team about why replace Kimi when he can still drive fast.

      Kimi is more likely to help his friend Vettel now that he is not fighting for his seat. Kinda like Schumacher letting Vettel through when the points mattered.

      1. Not really the case from what we saw in Monza!
        Kimi was already aware that he wont be racing for Ferrari in 2019, and he actually raced Vettel.
        So don’t expect Kimi to let Vettel through in any of the races, except maybe the final one, that too if and only if Vettel has a shot at title by gaining Kimi’s position.
        Other than that, I don’t think Kimi will be racing to help his friend. More likely is that He will be racing for himself, not for the team or to help Vettel.

        1. For sure Kimi was racing Vettel for the win. The expected result was a Ferrari Won Two.

          He would not of expected Vettel to gaff it with Lewis on the first lap.

          Here’s a question to you. There are two drivers who can get their fifth WDC. Do you choose your friend/ teammate, or the other guy?

  4. Could it be more enjoyable for him to drive at Sauber than Ferrari for those two years? He hasn’t won for a while, not really in contention for WCC, then why not be in the midfield battles and really enjoy a good drive against tough competition… Not a 2 vs 2 battle.

    I can see driving a F1 car in such way as enjoyable. Remove the ambition and the pressure, and enjoy the fun out of it.

    1. Plus he would presumably have less PR stuff to deal with at Sauber…

  5. Don’t get me wrong I like Kiki , but feel he has had his fun and should give young uns a shot. But then again I am lookin forwood to see him drive without the move over a let Seb passed. Which I hope he as the balls not to do for the last few racers. It may be in his contrack but if he don’t want they goin to do sack him.

  6. It does not say when exactly was it that he learned he was out of Ferrari….before quali?….after quali?….after the race?

    1. Depending on the reaction from Minttu, he was informed before Quali.
      Her tears of joy makes sense now.

    2. You are right. I didn’t see the point where it was mentioned that he learned in Monza.

      1. Yes, this is very important. If Kimi learned before quali and the result was pole position, Vettel gonna lose more points in the next races.

  7. Ctrl+F “Obviously”, five matches…
    On a more serious note he seems happy to race for Sauber, maybe they will get really fast and get a Fourth place in the WCC by 2020.

    1. And not a single “mwoa”… Fishy

    2. @notacop And I subbed two out to reduce repetition. Seriously…

  8. An over the hill Kimi gets a 2 year contract. Meanwhile, a deserved driver and potential star (Ocon) fails to land a seat.
    F1 at its worst!!

    1. According to Race Fans Drivers’ web page, currently 11 drivers have contracts, meaning Ocon is still in with a chance of a seat.

    2. Kimi is definitely past his prime, but like Alonso, he’s clearly still fast enough to compete. And even then, it seems to me like you’d probably be saying the same thing if Sauber were to sign Ocon (too good for a “back marker”, and such).

  9. Just like I said. Kimi was told to help Vettel. He started the season on fire and wanted to challenge for the title but Ferrari said no. We don’t want to risk losing Vettel. Eventually they put a cap on Kimi until Kimi said forget this, I want pole. Monza and spa are my favorite. I want to win it. Ferrari pretty much said we understand Kimi. We’ll be giving your drive to someone else then.

    I hope Lecre destroys Vettel.

    1. Calm down, mate, even Kimi doesn’t sound as worked up as you.

    2. Man you should put one of those Ferrari’s cooling bags on your head, the tinfoil hat temperature is over 9000

  10. Kimi, please drive for yourself from here onwards and provide us with more entertainment. That way finger boy will be under more pressure and we can see more cracks.

  11. I still think Kimi has a good chance for one or two wins this season.

    1. He has to go for it though, I don’t want to see ANY obeying to team orders unless 1) he already won a race before this year, and 2) it’s going to make or break the championship, perhaps at the last race.

      So far the one who underperformed to expectations is vettel, raikkonen did his job against bottas, as the constructor title proves that it’s closer than drivers’ title.

    2. He’ll be out of the championship before the last 3 races of the season, so even if he’s in contention for a win in those races, he’ll most probably have to move over for Seb. So he’s realistically got only the next 4 races to win – Sing, Japan, Russia, United States. Kind of doubtful he’ll take a win this year though.

  12. “Kimi Raikkonen revealed his deal to drive for Sauber in the 2019 F1 season came about after he learned he’d lost his Ferrari drive during the Italian Grand Prix weekend.”

    Wow, that’s some really quick work going on there Kimi to lose a drive and have a new deal almost the same week .

    1. Well Ferrari have an option on one seat at Sauber (that Leclerc currently occupies), so i’d assume a la RB/Toro Rosso they have simply done a swap. I assume they enjoy the status of Raikkonen and want him to be seen with Ferrari going forward (promo events, merch, brand ambassador etc.) thus they have kept him in the fold rather than letting him go to McLaren and appear in adverts for their Road Cars.

    2. @greg-c I’d say the same hour or simultaneously.. Arrivabene told him: “Yes , we’ll go with Charles but, if you like , you remain in our payroll and drive our engines ,ok?”

      1. Apparently wasnt the case and Ferrari didnt know themselves, or so they say anyway.
        Actually makes sense cos they`d want Giovinazzi there I suppose. Quite handy to have him even if he doesnt eventually drive for Ferrari, cos that`d give their youth program a lot of credit, considering how Red Bull, McLaren and Merc seems to discredit themselves lately with Verstappen vs everyone, Vandoorne and K-Mag, and Ocon, respectively.

  13. Something fishy about this.

    Ferrari go for experience, there was no need to promote Leclerc this quickly. Kimi will be 40 at the end of his “Sauber” contract which means Leclerc could well have 20 years in F1.

    For his own sake, Leclerc best live up to the hype or Kimi could start his 3rd stint at Ferrari before the end of next season.

    1. @johnnik Well following your alleged smell of ‘fish’ I wonder if Leclerc’s apparent rapid promotion is because the Scuderia do not expect Vettel to be there for 2020. This could be voluntary or enforced, but I’m sure that Ferrai would be anxious to avoid replacing both drivers in 2020 and even having to replace one in 2021 when (supposedly) everything will change.
      Are Ferrari looking a bit further into the future than just next season?

  14. If Ericsson does stay then I would love to see the Sauber Scandi wars.

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