Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen has said that the delaying of the new rules coming into Formula 1 won’t “dictate” his future.
Raikkonen is entering the final year of his Alfa Romeo contract, a season where he could surpass Rubens Barrichello as the most experienced F1 driver of all time who boasts 322 starts.
And the rumours of when Raikkonen will call time on his F1 career have bubbled up again, he is 40 years old after all, making him the oldest driver on the grid.
Something which in theory could push his decision is the fact that the new rules which were originally going to come into force for 2021, have now been delayed until 2022.
So with major changes to the pecking order not expected over the next two seasons, Raikkonen could be forgiven for losing the interest.
But, the Finn has said before that Formula 1 is more just a hobby to him now, and the delaying of the rules won’t “dictate” whether or not he carries on.
Asked ahead of the season-opener in Austria if the rules will play a part in his decision, he said: “It hasn’t.
“That’s how it’s going to be with the rules, but it doesn’t dictate what happens in the future.
“We haven’t done a single race. It’s a very odd situation this year, we’ll wait and see.”
The C39 which Raikkonen will be armed with for 2020 didn’t pull up any trees in pre-season testing.
But he wasn’t prepared to say what improvement, if any, he thought was possible on their P8 finish in the Constructors’ Championship last year. Classic Kimi!
“Testing every year… it’s impossible to say who is where, there’s a lot of speculation,” he said.
“But in the first race, we always see what is the real story, and we never managed to do the first race.
“Now months later, we’re obviously going to do it. Then we’ll see where we are. People are bringing updates, so who knows. We’ll see.”
Mercedes have confirmed that they will be bringing an upgraded engine to the Austrian Grand Prix, whilst Red Bull are also planning to ring in the changes.
Renault are bringing three upgrades with them that were originally going to be introduced at different stages of the old calendar.
Ferrari’s updates are minor, and instead they are looking at the Hungarian Grand Prix for major changes.