Bernie Ecclestone feels that Kimi Raikkonen was the last driver on the Formula 1 grid that didn’t act like a robot.
Throughout his time in F1, the 2007 World Champion was renowned for not mincing his words when talking to either the press or his own team.
At a time when drivers were receiving more and more media training, the former Alfa Romeo man always stood out for his clear and unashamed lack of enthusiasm and his disdain for media and PR duties.
Ecclestone, the sport’s former boss, loved the Finn’s honest, straightforward nature.
“Kimi, as a person, is a super guy,” the Brit told sport1.de.
“As a driver, he’s a race driver. He’s what you want: he races [and] doesn’t take an awful lot of notice of people. In fact, he gives them his opinion.”
In the 91-year-old’s opinion, there aren’t any other drivers quite like ‘The Iceman’ around today which he feels is a problem for the sport.
“There aren’t any Kimis today really, I don’t think. That’s the problem,” he continued.
“They’ve all become very, very much [like] a robot, listening and doing what they’re told, rather than doing what they think is the right thing to do.”
— Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN (@alfaromeoracing) December 14, 2021
Just what Raikkonen will do next is very much unclear with him not signing up for any other racing series in 2022 following his departure from the F1 grid at the end of the 2021 campaign.
One thing that does seem certain though is that we won’t be seeing him at any races in any capacity next season with him stating he might not ever enter the paddock again.
“Only time will tell,” he told BILD when asked how much he would miss F1.
“What I already know – driving is the only thing I liked about it! I may never set foot in the paddock again. Formula 1 was never my life. There were always things that were more important to me. Nothing will change about that.
“I didn’t stop because I didn’t have the strength but because I have better things to do than sit on planes and stay in hotels.”
Right now, he is just looking forward to having proper holidays again and being able to relax on them both physically and mentally.
“That vacation is vacation again. Otherwise, we only had the summer break,” he said regarding what he was excited about.
“That was two and a half weeks in which you had to continue training and always had in the back of your mind that afterwards the normal madness would be back.”
Are modern day F1 drivers too robotic?
Bernie Ecclestone feels that F1 drivers are too robotic.