Wolff: Raikkonen leaving Ferrari ‘a blow’ to F1

Date published: December 21 2018

Kimi Raikkonen: A blow to F1 leaving Ferrari

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff thinks Formula 1 has suffered “a blow” with Kimi Raikkonen leaving Ferrari for Sauber.

In a long, drawn-out affair, Ferrari eventually decided to put their faith into rising star Charles Leclerc, who will line-up alongside Sebastian Vettel next season.

Raikkonen, meanwhile, is heading back to where it all began with Sauber. But, Wolff feels that the Finn and Ferrari had forged a synonymous link with each other.

“I think it changes a lot for F1 that Kimi is not in Ferrari anymore in a car that is able to win races,” said Wolff, in an interview with selected media.

“He is a formidable character. He is one of the very few people in this day and age, with social media and the ego getting out of control, that stays true to himself.

“He has his values and stays true to his values, and he is authentic. That is what the fans love. So Kimi not in a Ferrari is a blow for all of us.

“But at least he is not out of it completely. He is in Sauber and it is shame that, with Fernando [Alonso] going completely and Kimi changing from Ferrari to Sauber, we are losing two unbelievable personalities in some way.

“Kimi and Ferrari as a combination was attractive.”

Retirement could have been an option for Raikkonen, yet Wolff is glad that he has decided to stick around for a couple more years and continue to do what he loves best.

“Kimi says he is coming to enjoy things with Sauber, but the Sauber proved to be a best of the rest car,” explained Wolff.

“It is also just 40 minutes away from home, so he is able to stay at home. I think with Fred [Vasseur, team boss] they have a racers group that is coming together, and a strong relationship with Ferrari, so why would he not continue to do what he enjoys doing?

“We were too much driven about what should he do: should he leave F1 because it is not a winning car anymore?

“But we are all here to be happy and we are all here to enjoy ourselves, and if driving is something that he truly enjoys then he is right to follow his passion.”

Follow us on Twitter @Planet_F1 and like our Facebook page.