Alfa Romeo ‘more than keen’ to keep Kimi around

Date published: September 7 2021 - Finley Crebolder

Kimi Raikkonen and Frederic Vasseur in conversation at Silverstone. Great Britain August 2021

Frederic Vasseur says Alfa Romeo would be keen to keep Kimi Raikkonen with the team in an advisory role.

The Finn recently announced the 2021 season will be his last in Formula 1, retiring from the sport at the end of it.

It is unclear what he will do with his career next and whether he will continue racing in another category or call it a day for good.

Vasseur understands why the Iceman decided to leave F1, but would love to keep him around the team as an advisor of some sort.

“I think he was not far away to do it one year ago. It is a personal decision that seasons are more and more demanding,” the team boss said, quoted by GPFans.

“What is good is he took time on the decision because it is not an easy one and I think the worst-case-scenario is say ‘okay, stop’ and then the Monday morning after the last race say ‘what can I do?’”

“I saw already he had some proposals from other series or things. I think it is much better to let him calm down and then we will have time to discuss,” Vasseur added when asked if he would like to give the Finn an advisory role.

“I would be more than keen to have Kimi on board somewhere, but I think he has to take time. It would be a mistake to take another option today and say ‘okay, I will do this, I will do this.’

Check all the latest 2021 teamwear via the official Formula 1 store

Largely due to his machinery, in terms of results Raikkonen’s time with the team has not been hugely successful, more often than not failing to score points and finishing in the top six only once.

“Kimi was able to bring to the team a huge experience,” Vasseur continued.

“He drove the last 20 years in a winning team, always fighting for the championship, and this was hugely important to the development of the team.

“I am not speaking about results but mid-term development, and the project he knows perfectly where the performance is coming from and also, in parallel, in terms of image for the team it was a huge push.

“I would have loved to have better results and do more, but it is also the purpose of racing that you always want to do more and to get more. But it is like it is and the support from Kimi was a huge one.”

Alfa Romeo have moved fast in replacing Raikkonen, signing his fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas.