Kimi hints at F1 exit in 2009

Sat, 11 November 2006, 02:59

Kimi Raikkonen says he might not be in the F1 paddock long enough to have a crack at Ferrari predecessor Michael Schumacher’s bag of records.

The Finn, who will test a red racer for the first time next January following a five season tenure at McLaren, hinted on Saturday that his three-year Ferrari contract might be his last.

Asked by German newspaper Bild if he might one day sniff retired Schumacher’s title and victory records, 27-year-old Raikkonen said: “Probably not.”

“I will not be driving for long enough to win seven titles. Perhaps this Ferrari contract is already my last,” he added.

Kimi, meanwhile, acknowledged reports that certain factions at Maranello are apparently worried that his skills as a driver do not extend to car development.

Asked if he might consider changing his approach to motor racing, Raikkonen answered: “If Ferrari want, I will work every evening until ten o’clock. I am not afraid of some hard work!”

He also said he would be ‘silly’ to turn down an opportunity to benefit from Schumacher’s new role as an ‘assistant’ to team principal Jean Todt.

“I would be happy if Michael would help me to acclimatise to Ferrari,” Kimi insisted, but he did not want to comment on suggestions that the 37-year-old German elected to quit rather than face Raikkonen at the wheel.

Pressed for a sneak-preview of the championship challenge next year, though, Raikkonen admitted: “My toughest opponent will not be Alonso, it will be my teammate Felipe Massa.”


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