Kimi Raikkonen has again straight-batted suggestions that he has agreed to ‘mentor’ Mick Schumacher at Alfa Romeo next season.
Reports have suggested the flying Finn has committed to a third year with Alfa Romeo and, as the most experienced racer in Formula 1, will partner a driver at the opposite end of the spectrum – namely the son of Michael Schumacher, the seven-time World Champion.
Speculation was inevitably rife at the Nurburgring on the eve of Mick Schumacher’s debut driving a contemporary F1 car on a race weekend, the Alfa Romeo in FP1 for the Eifel Grand Prix with Antonio Giovinazzi temporarily standing aside.
However, there was no confirmation forthcoming from Raikkonen in his media interviews, maintaining his previous stance that no decision had been made on his side about whether to extend his F1 career or head into retirement at the end of this season.
“I don’t know what will happen, I haven’t signed anything yet and it still hasn’t been decided,” Raikkonen told Ted Kravitz of Sky Sports.
“First that needs to be decided. It’s nothing to do with me who’s driving the other car, so we’ll see.”
Asked by Kravitz whether the global health pandemic had made him re-assess his priorities in terms of perhaps wanting to spend more time with his young family, Raikkonen, who will turn 41 on Saturday week, said: “I always had a life outside F1 so that hasn’t changed anything. I haven’t decided and it’s as simple as that.”
Nurburgring, a late addition to this year’s re-scheduled calendar, stages a grand prix for the first time since 2013 and is a venue to which Raikkonen is pleased to be returning.
He enjoyed his best result at the track on his last visit, in 2013 when second in his Lotus behind Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull.
“I think it’s always been a nice place to come,” said Raikkonen, who has collected only two World Championship points so far this season, when ninth in the Tuscan Grand Prix at Mugello.
“We are quite late coming here this year so it’s maybe not going to be perfect weather. But I’ve always enjoyed it.
“If I could choose between Hockenheim and here, this track for driving is more fun for sure. It’s nice to be back here.”