Kimi Raikkonen says he expects to retire from F1 at the end of his current Ferrari contract which expires after the 2015 season.
Following two years away from the sport in 2010 and 2011, Raikkonen returned with Lotus before joining Ferrari on a two-year contract at the start of this season. Having endured a difficult return to the team with which he won the 2007 world championship, Raikkonen said he doesn’t see himself signing a new contract at the end of next year.
“No, [I will race] until to my contract is finished and then I probably will stop,” Raikkonen said. “That’s what I think is going to happen.”
Raikkonen admitted that he wished drivers were allowed to race in other categories alongside F1 but wasn’t sure that’s what he would do after retiring from the sport.
“I don’t know yet. I have tried many things and I think there’s no harm in it and it doesn’t take anything away from me doing Formula One at the same time. For me it can only help for sure. You always learn when you try different things but the problem is the teams are scared that we will get hurt so there’s a big conflict on that.
“In the past when I was at Ferrari I was allowed to do some rallies and it was a good help. I was doing well at the same time in Formula One, but everything is different. I think it would be nice, not just for us but also for the spectators and the fans and everybody to see us doing many things.”
However, when asked if he would consider continuing racing in F1 if he was able to compete in other categories simultaneously, Raikkonen said that would not be the case.
“No I don’t think so. When I feel it’s time to finish Formula One it’s time to finish. Even doing something else at the same time makes no difference because the decision is about F1 and if it’s the right time or not to stop.”
Steve Robertson denies Raikkonen exit
Steve Robertson: “He didn’t say he’s going to retire after 2015, I’ve spoken with other journalists and all asked me the same question. He didn’t give a specific deadline, he has simply said that after F1 he’s going to do something else, because he’s a driver. But he didn’t mention a particular year. Now he’s focused on F1. Kimi loves F1, never say never, it’s too early to speak about this, we still are in 2014. If he wants to continue and he feels that there is an opportunity with Ferrari or someone else, we’ll never know.”
(Updated on 5th July 2014)