GP Gran Bretagna, giovedì–07/07/2016
Kimi Raikkonen: I’m driving as well as ever in 2016 F1 season
Kimi Raikkonen says he feels he is driving as well as he ever has and is still enjoying racing in Formula 1, as questions remain about his future with Ferrari.
The Finn’s contract expires at the end of the season and though he has said he wants to stay at Ferrari, the team is still mulling whether to retain him.
When asked by Autosport about his form and enjoyment in F1 this year compared to when he made his debut in 2001, Raikkonen said: "People always have a lot to say about it.
"But what I say is that I would not be here if I did not enjoy it, if I did not feel like I can drive, if I did not feel like I can do it 100% – it hasn’t changed.
"I feel I drive as well as I’ve driven for ever.
"If I wouldn’t feel like I’m driving well, I’m the first one to go away and not do it, but it’s not that.
"People are happy to look at the results and say they are not good enough but it doesn’t always mean if you have a bad result that you are not 100% giving your best or motivated or something.
"If I wouldn’t be motivated, I would not be here wasting my own time or the team’s time.
"I enjoy more when the results are better but it doesn’t mean that you only drive better, it’s that the whole package around you is better.
"A lot of small things that you put in the right places and things will improve."
Raikkonen said he was unsure what he would do after life in F1, but reiterated that Ferrari would be his last team.
"I have always said, way back, that my last team would be Ferrari and it’s still like that.
"What happens in the future, I don’t know, time will tell.
"I usually don’t make plans for the very long future, things change in life very quickly.
"Hopefully I’ll stay healthy and then we will see what happens in the future.
"I don’t put an awful lot of thinking into it, but I’m sure there’s a lot of nice things to do in the future."
Raikkonen, who is level on points with team-mate Sebastian Vettel in third in the drivers’ championship, admitted this year has been inconsistent in terms of results.
"I’ve had pretty good races, some not so good races, some that is not to do with me like the first race, and some that is like Monaco, that was my mistake which is fair enough," he said.
"It’s been up and down. Mostly, it’s been pretty OK but I’m not satisfied if I finish third or second.
"We are here to try and win, it’s the same goal for the team, we want to win and we want two cars there and then we can be more happy.
"Until that happens, it’s painful."
Kimi still “happy” with Ferrari at his 100th race in red
“It’s always nice to come back to Silverstone, this place has a lot of history and I enjoy the circuit. The weather can be very tricky but there’s always been very good racing. Our approach to the weekend is the same as any other race, from tomorrow we’ll start to go through our program and see where we are. This is my 100th race with Ferrari, it doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s quite a few years. This is the best team in F1, together we won a title in 2007, we had good years and some difficult ones. I’m really happy to be part of Ferrari, the atmosphere is fantastic, we are always pushing each other forward and hopefully we’ll get the team back where it belongs. It’s still a long season to go, we’ll face every race trying to maximize the result. We’ll see where we end up at the end of the year but I’m sure we can win races this year, we’ll keep fighting until is possible.”