Kimi Raikkonen says he will quit racing in Formula 1 when he feels he is no longer fast enough to compete, but wants to continue with Ferrari in 2019.
Having signed a number of one-year contracts in recent seasons, Raikkonen is again waiting on news regarding his future as his current deal expires at the end of this year. Now the oldest driver on the grid at 38 years old, Raikkonen says he feels he is still performing at a high level and will stop racing when he is not happy with his own pace.
“I don’t feel that I drive any differently from 10 years ago,” Raikkonen said. “I drive pretty well, at least in my own books and that’s enough for me. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t feel that I can drive as well as I feel that I should. That’s kind of my tool to decide when it’s enough.
“Who knows? Maybe I will wake up one morning and I don’t know how to drive fast anymore. I don’t think there is a time. It’s more feelings — how do you feel yourself doing, good or bad. Obviously the speed — people always said the speed would disappear but until this day it hasn’t disappeared for me.
“Like I said, maybe there’s one morning when I’ll wake up and it’s just not there. It could be like that but I don’t think you can just put a date, say you turn this or that age and that’s it, it’s just not there. If you have it, you have it, if not — that’s it.”
Earlier this season, Raikkonen’s seat looked under serious threat from Charles Leclerc, but recent months have seen the Finn look likely to sign a contract extension. However, he insists he still doesn’t know when he’ll have his future confirmed.
“I don’t know. Obviously at some point, that’s for sure. Probably you can expect anything; that’s what I’ve learn from the past. We’ll see.
“I enjoy the racing — that is not a secret. The rest, I do not, but that’s part of the job. Do I want to race? Yes, otherwise I wouldn’t be here today. I don’t think it’s suddenly going to disappear, but who knows? It might. I doubt it. Like I said, I don’t know, so we’ll see what happens.”