Kimi Raikkonen says he has yet to make a decision over whether he wants to extend his Formula 1 career beyond the end of this season.
The Finn is out of contract at Alfa Romeo at the end of the year, while teammate Antonio Giovinazzi’s future is also uncertain. RACER understands the likes of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez are on Alfa Romeo’s radar in case of needing to sign an experienced driver to partner a Ferrari youngster, but Raikkonen says he has yet to make his mind up regarding another contract.
“I haven’t decided yet,” Raikkonen said. “First of all, I need to decide what I will do and we’ll see. I don’t really see that it would change anything in terms if I stay with (Alfa Romeo) or not. Like I said, until I decide what I do, those things are not on my list.
“Obviously (competitiveness) also makes a difference. You’d much rather race in a better position, or fighting for the points. But there’s never a guarantee, wherever you go, that it’s going to be good or bad.
“I think the bigger picture is much more important for me. First of all comes the family — the kids are getting bigger. This year I’ve been able to be more home, which is great and I think that’s what makes me decide to continue racing or not. There’s going to be a point where I’ll want to be home and do other things, but not yet.”
When it was put to Raikkonen that he could move aside for younger talent in the same way Mika Hakkinen did for him at McLaren in 2002, the 40-year-old said Hakkinen’s decision was made solely with his own situation in mind.
“I doubt that he left just for me, I’m pretty sure he had other things in his mind than what would happen to me! I had a three-year contract with Sauber, anyhow. Maybe people looked at it that way, that he was just being a nice guy and giving me the position, but it just doesn’t work like that.
“My decision is based on what I feel is right for me and nothing to do (with) if it helps somebody or not. It’s not a sport like that; if you want to do it, fine, but that’s not how I make my decisions.”