The oldest driver on the F1 grid, and soon to be the most experienced ever, Kimi Raikkonen says he’s in F1 because he wants to be and not to please others.
Dropped by Ferrari at the end of the 2018 season, Raikkonen surprised many when he signed a two-year deal with Alfa Romeo.
Entering the second year of that contract, the Finn will this year become the most experienced driver to ever have raced in Formula 1 when he passes Rubens Barrichello’s record for the most starts.
It is a record that many didn’t think Raikkonen of all people who ever achieve given that he walked away from the sport after his first stint with Ferrari, swapping to rallying and NASCAR.
He returned to F1 in 2012 with Lotus before rejoining Ferrari and then Alfa Romeo.
“I like racing, although there is much more than racing in F1,” he said in an interview with El Pais.
“If I didn’t enjoy the races, I wouldn’t be here. But I would do anything not to go out to the press!”
The 40-year-old who was once known for his party attitude seems to have found a good work/life balance saying he found that by doing what makes him happy and not trying to please others.
“Obviously, it makes me happy that there are followers who like me, there are also those who don’t like me. But I just try to do the things that make me happy.
“As long as you do things that make you happy as a person that is all that matters.
“If you are happy that will help you in your work, be it driving a car or any other, it will help you in your daily life.
“If people like it, great; if they don’t like it, well that’s fine too. Each one is as it is.
“Besides, I never do anything to please anyone. I do what I do thinking about me.”
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But while the fans and the media may love Raikkonen, he concedes he doesn’t always love the latter.
“I am sure there are a lot of things, so, in general, much more important to write about,” he said. “But that’s how the media works now unfortunately.
“I never intend to be in the news.”