Kimi Raikkonen says he is having more fun in Formula 1 now because it has become like a “hobby” to him.
The 2007 World Champion is closing in on his 40th birthday but is still going strong in the sport after leaving Ferrari and joining Alfa Romeo.
Now that the Finn is out of the spotlight, he claims to have no special motivation for racing other than the fun of it.
Speaking to reporters in China, he said: “I don’t have any special things that I try to motivate myself.
“It’s become more of a hobby for me lately than anything else and probably that’s why it’s more fun again.
“I always try to do the best that I can. Some days it goes a bit better than others – but that’s how it goes when you do a lot of racing.
“When I feel that it’s not what I expect from myself, then obviously I try to find a new hobby after that.”
Formula 1 is celebrating its 1000th World Championship race in Shanghai, and Raikkonen has started 293 of these, winning 21.
Rubens Barrichello holds the record of 322 starts which means Raikkonen, whose contract runs to the end of the 2020 campaign, is on course to overtake him midway through next season.
And despite a strong start to life at Alfa, Raikkonen says that his performances have not influenced any goals he has.
“No, it hasn’t. I didn’t really have any goals, so it’s pretty hard to change them. I can’t really talk about last year’s car,” he said.
“So from my side it’s hard to say what is better on this car than the one they had last year… but I think in general it’s quite a good, solid package and we understand it pretty okay and they seem to have good guys on all areas to bring new stuff.”
Several drivers are set to race with special helmets to mark the milestone in Formula 1 history, but Raikkonen doesn’t have any plans to follow suit.
“I wanted to have an open-face helmet but there were some regulation issues,” said the Finn.