Kimi Raikkonen says talks over his move to Sauber started following confirmation he would not be retained by Ferrari in Monza.
It was announced this week that Raikkonen will leave Ferrari at the end of the year for a two-year deal with Sauber, the team he made his Formula 1 debut with. Explaining the timeline, Raikkonen says the whole move has come about since the end of the last race in Italy.
“In Monza I knew,” Raikkonen said. “Obviously I know people from there [Sauber] from the past and basically it started after that.
“I guess you know what happened. I don’t know what else you want to know. This is what happened. As we’ve said many times before, it’s not up to me, it’s not my decision in the end. Anything after that is obviously my decision but this is the outcome. At least we have an outcome.”
Asked why he’s returning to Sauber, Raikkonen initially replied “Why not?” before saying he doesn’t feel the need to justify his reasons for continuing in F1.
“Because I want to. Why do you try to make it so complicated? I don’t know anything more than you guys, purely where they have been finishing. Obviously I don’t know what will happen next year, nobody knows what will happen next year when it comes to the speeds of the cars and the teams and obviously we can always guess but we will see what we can do.
“Obviously I have my reasons and that’s enough for me. I don’t really care what others think and as long as I’m happy with my own reasons, it’s enough for me.
“Honestly, I always said that I will stop when I feel it’s right for me. I don’t need to comment how I feel. Obviously the racing is the part that I enjoy most and that’s why we are here. Obviously it’s always been a big part of the race weekend, all the other stuff which is normal for us, but it’s not the reason to come here. The reason is to drive and race.
“It’s not the big part of the weekend any more as it used to be because obviously everything changes a bit but that’s the only reason, really. The other stuff that comes with it, it’s very normal, it’s always been there. It comes with the package. It’s not often that you get a package where you only have the good things. It’s OK. We all know each other. It’s the same answers, same questions every time so it’s not too difficult.”
Raikkonen responded sarcastically when asked if he remains passionate about racing, saying with a smile: “No, I’m not actually!
“Just by pure head games for you guys I happened to sign and I’m going to spend two years there just not being happy.”