Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit of the Americas, 2018

Raikkonen: Win shows I’ve got a few years left in me

2018 United States Grand Prix

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Kimi Raikkonen says his United States Grand Prix win shows he’s still competitive despite being the oldest driver on the grid.

The victory yesterday made Raikkonen, 39, the oldest Formula 1 driver to win a race since Nigel Mansell in the 1994 Australian Grand Prix.

“I might be getting older but it’s not too bad still,” said Raikkonen. “Maybe I’m OK to be [here] a few years more.

“I enjoy it, so we are here to try to win. I always try to do it, but obviously it’s not easy, otherwise anybody could do it. I think this weekend we have been pretty solid in many ways.

“I just had a good feeling with the car. We’ll see what happens in the next race, but so far it’s been OK. I don’t complain a lot. We’ll have for sure some fun tonight and we go next week to the next one.”

Raikkonen only has three races left at Ferrari before he leaves to join Sauber. However he said his victory does not prove Ferrari were wrong to replace him with Charles Leclerc. “For sure I didn’t mean on that side.

“I think people don’t understand I’m actually very happy where I’m going. I had my time with Ferrari, I won the championship with them. I won many races with them.

“For me, as a driver, I want different challenges, I want different things and I’m actually very happy to go there. It’s roughly 40 minutes from my home. For sure my family will be happy, I’m happy to be with my family. I think it’s probably the best thing.

“I wasn’t really disappointed with the decision at any point. The only thing that I was interested in was to know what was going to happen and that’s the only thing. The rest, I’ve been long enough in F1 to know that things… it doesn’t matter if you have contracts or not, things happen for different reasons but I think the end result is that I’m very excited about it.”

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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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33 comments on “Raikkonen: Win shows I’ve got a few years left in me”

  1. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    22nd October 2018, 10:54

    I am very glad he won and I may get some flak for this but his race pace wasn’t great and it’s been like that all season. Closer in quali, but incredibly slow during the race compared to Seb.

    1. @collettdumbletonhall Same here. This was probably his best and last chance to win a race this season, so happy he finally managed to achieve it. After this season’s over, he won’t be able to even challenge for an occasional race win anymore since he’s going to be moving to a latter-midfield team.

    2. @collettdumbletonhall i beg to differ, i actually think his race pace yesterday was perfectly judged for once.
      He first made his tires last long enough for a comfortable one-stopper, he held up Lewis in the process who first took a lot out of his tires catching up setting all purples, and then again having to follow Rai close, pretty much exactly what happened to Rai in Monza except Rai was doing both Lewis’ and Valtteri’s job on this occaison, and then Rai left enough life in his tires (while still closing the gap hamilton was trying to open for his second stop) the second time around that he was still able to up his pace once things started heating up towards the end, and not be a sitting duck just waiting for people to go by.

    3. For this race, Kimi’s pace was excellent. He kept Verstappen from catching him and managed his tires, even before Lewis caught Max up to Max. IMO, Kimi was the perfect number 2 driver this year and Le Clerc has his work cut out for him to match Kimi’s performance next year. I think Ferrari should have waited one more year to bring Le Clerc up but I’m happy that Kimi seems pleased to be working closer to his home in Switzerland.

  2. It’s roughly 40 minutes from my home. For sure my family will be happy, I’m happy to be with my family. I think it’s probably the best thing.

    Never thought of that. On that basis, is a no-brainer.

    1. @fer-no65
      Correct, like you never thought of that point but with Kimi having a young family it may have been the catalyst to keep him in F1.

  3. People say kubica is old, yet raikonnen is 6 years older lol. And Mansell won a championship at 42. There is 50/50 chance kubica will race for Williams next year (him or Ocon it seems), and people will forget his age after a few rounds, and he will race another 3 seasons in f1. If your good, then your good at any age. Look at alonso.

    1. If your good, then your good at any age.

      Well, that is not really true, there is an age limit sometime along someone’s life… Otherwise you would have a grid with Hamilton, Mansell, Prost, Stewart, Andretti, Piquet, Jones, Moss…

      Extreme examples aside, F1 is a sport, and like any other physical activity age will take a toll on how good you are, that’s just how it is. Exactly when and how will vary from person to person, from epoch to epoch, but there are limits. Kimi’s overall performances from the past 5 years really do suggest he is not exactly in his prime, even if yesterday he was great.

      1. Kimi at less than his prime is still VERY good.

        1. But is he Ferrari-good? Vettel has been terrible in the second half of the season but is still consistently the faster driver, as he has been since 2015.

          1. I’m not sure that is entirely correct. It’s frightening how short people’s memory is.

            There have been a number of occasions this year where Ferrari’s strategy team has compromised Kimi to assist Seb’s chances.

            Due to the fact he had power unit failures early on in the season, he spent many races with an older and inferior spec power unit to Seb.

            If it weren’t for the equipment failures, being compromised by both strategy and older spec power units that had to complete many races, I think the picture would be a bit different.

    2. Yes but the issue between Robert and Kimi is Kimi has been racing all that time, Kubica has not. Same as all skills, use them or lose them.

      I, like many would love to see Robert Kubica racing an F1 car again. But it’s been too long, I dont see it happening.

      There are too many young talents on the grid now too make that chance.

      1. But kubica has been racing, just in different series of motorsport.

        1. @kpcart
          Are you being dense for a specific reason?

    3. I don’t think the issue with Kubica is his age.

      1. Yep, its money…

        Robert was up there with the very best and I’m sure would have won a couple of championships if he’d gone to Ferrari, as was the plan before his accident.

  4. Raikonnen won his first ever race for ferrari. Would be interesting if he can also win his last ever race for ferrari. I always though it was weird they resigned him, and he hasn’t lived up to his 2003-2005 glory days, but I think he has done well to have so many years in ferrari.

    1. Raikonnen won his first race for McLaren at the 2003 Malaysian gp. Not Ferrari.

      1. He means, Raikkonen won the first race he entered as a Ferrari driver. 2007 Aussie GP. @selbbin

    2. He won races at Ferrari during his first stint with them, but yes, this is his first victory for Ferrari during his second stint there.

      1. He won a championship with Ferrari :)

  5. What Ferrari need to learn from this is RAI could’ve produced performances like this earlier in the season if they took him more seriously. Monza is a perfect example, apart from VET putting RAI in a bad spot. Similar to the philosophy Mercedes had with HAM and ROS, lead car takes priority. VET compromised his entire weekend from the 3 place grid drop and then his escapades in the race. Ferrari based on their race pace, should’ve had a 1/2 i feel this weekend.

    I think the most interesting part of the race is that even with fresher tyres HAM still couldn’t get past the Red bull and it took potentially a mistake from VER for HAM to capitalise, same with RAI plus there was no contact made when HAM was battling them on track.

    For once I think Mercedes acted more like Ferrari strategists and Ferrari acted more like Mercedes strategists, low and behold Ferrari took the race win?

  6. I was impressed mostly by how measured Raikkonen was, he didn’t get flustered, he didn’t make mistakes. Delaying Lewis by eight seconds prior to Mercedes making their pitstop on Hamilton was sublime from Kimi, firm but fair racing.
    Raikkonen still has it, he still has the race craft, still has the ability and raw speed. The reality is that Sauber will be almost certainly Kimi’s final drive for a Formula One team, and although as a team they may not be in a position to win, in Raikkonen they are getting a class act behind the wheel.
    Charles Leclerc is the future for Ferrari, and along with Max Verstappen, probably a future world champion. How he fares against Sebastien Vettel is going to be one of the hottest topics going into next season.
    When Raikkonen won the championship back in 2007 he claimed that whatever happened in his career moving on would be a bonus. A few more years on the grid for Kimi, after yesterday’s performance, is a bonus to us all!

    1. Agreed and well said. I’m happy for Kimi with his win yesterday, and really happy to hear how happy he is to still race and to be at Sauber next year. We likely saw his last F1 win yesterday, and we should be grateful for that. Unless of course he does it again before the season ends, lol.

    2. Yes, he’s gonna play “alonso” I guess, putting a slow car into the points as often as possible, if lucky get a podium, alonso could’ve gone very close to it in singapore 2017, though I think most likely would’ve ended 4th.

  7. First time since 2008 that both Ferrari drivers have won a race in the same season.
    Is this team, the flag bearer of team orders, finally turning a corner?

    1. And Kimi has been in most of the seasons in between. As the privileged and the not so privileged.

      Flag bearer of team orders – going too far with it mate. They do it but its not that they had to do it during the non so well performing seasons also!

    2. Hard to honestly say where they stand on team orders when the opportunity clearly wasn’t there yesterday to exercise them. Would Kimi still have this win if Vettel was running in 2nd? Doubtful. Especially given that there’s the slimmest sliver of hope left for Vettel to win WDC, I don’t have a doubt that they would have swapped the cars and let Vettel take the win.

      But Vettel seems eager to throw it all away with stupid first lap mistakes (plus mistakes later in the race at Suzuka & Hockenheim) so a championship that could have easily been his on pace has evaporated. Hopefully that means Kimi is free and clear to capitalize on any other opportunities that come his way over the next three races.

      1. You assume raikkonen would’ve ACCEPTED to sacrifice his last win ever to help his constantly-crashing team mate win an already lost championship after he already got fired!

  8. Finally! Great race from Kimi and fine strategy from the team. It was great to see him happy again. Poor Seb. Just can’t catch a break. Dodgy strategy from Mercedes again. Good finish for the Hulk and another great race for Max. What can you say about Danny Ric’s crap luck?

    Imagine how great F1 would be if it wasn’t for the racers who can only drive when no one is around them! :)

  9. Important win for Ferrari in their largest market.

  10. Don’t get too excited Kimi. It is just a win after about a hundred years and it will take another hundred years to do that again. To much competition by the youngsters. Just as you mentioned yourself ; it is no big deal.

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