Departing Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen says he has had no discussion whatsoever regarding a managerial role in Sauber, but hasn’t ruled it out for the future as well.
The 2007 Formula 1 champion surprised all by choosing to return to Sauber after being left out by Ferrari for Charles Leclerc in a multi-year deal starting from 2019. Prior to the announcement, reports from Finland suggested of a commercial deal.
It said Raikkonen would return to the Swiss outfit as a part owner – the driving part wasn’t mentioned. However, days after that, he was announced as their new driver replacing Leclerc. Speculations gained momentum then for a managerial role.
However, the Finn has denied of any move involving the commercial side so far but added he doesn’t know what the future holds. “There’s zero discussion on that [ownership],” said Raikkonen ahead of the Singapore GP.
“Obviously, I’ve signed my contract as a driver and I hope I stay there as a driver. Who knows what happens in the future, in two years or whatever. When it’s all said and done, I’ve no idea. I don’t know myself.
“There’s always speculation and everything but I don’t have any contract about that.” The Finn was repeatedly asked about his future as to why he chose to continue racing and join Sauber, going downwards in the field and not hang up his boots.
“Why not [join Sauber]? Because I want to. Why do you try to make it so complicated? I don’t know anything more than you guys, purely where they have been finishing,” he said. “Obviously I don’t know what will happen next year.
“[In fact] nobody knows what will happen next year when it comes to the speeds of the cars and the teams and obviously we can always guess but we will see what we can do. Obviously I have my reasons and that’s enough for me.
“I don’t really care what others think and as long as I’m happy with my own reasons, it’s enough for me.” When pressed further about his passion to remain in F1, Raikkonen joked adding that media part is the most fun time in the weekend, stating: “No, I’m not actually.
“Just by pure head games for you guys I happened to sign and I’m going to spend two years there just not being happy.” On a more serious note, he said racing was the only point for which he wanted to continue in the sport.
“I always said that I will stop when I feel it’s right for me. I don’t need to comment how I feel. Obviously the racing is the part that 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 which is 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 but that’s the only reason, really.
“The other stuff that comes with it, it’s very normal, it’s always been there. It comes with the package. It’s not often that you get a package where you only have the good things. It’s OK. We all know each other.
“It’s the same answers, same questions every time so it’s not too difficult,” he explained. The Finn insisted that the decision to leave Ferrari was not his to take, revealing that he was told about it during the Italian GP weekend at Monza.
He added that it was only then that he started talking to people in Sauber. “I don’t think it’s [joining Sauber] always been there,” he said. “Obviously, you never know in the end what will happen.
“This is just how it ends up to be going actually. I wouldn’t say there have been plans for a long time that this is going to happen.” When asked, Raikkonen admitted that there is now a big chance for him to end his career in Sauber.
Regarding helping Sebastian Vettel for the 2018 F1 title, Raikkonen insisted that they know the rules as to what is to be done. “I can only drive one car, obviously,” he said. “There’s always a lot of talk, a lot of things which can be helpful, can not be.
“It’s always easy to say that this and this will happen but in theory it’s so difficult to get it right in many ways so we will see what happens in the racing, if we’re close to each other and this and that. Obviously we know our rules; it’s pretty simple.”