Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2018

Raikkonen not ruling out return to McLaren

2019 F1 season

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Kimi Raikkonen indicated he may drive for another team in the 2019 F1 season if he does not stay at Ferrari.

The 38-year-old is believed to have been approached by McLaren, who he raced for between 2002 and 2006, about a potential comeback.

Asked during today’s press conference whether he still intended to finish his Formula 1 career at Ferrari, as he has said before, Raikkonen said: “I don’t know really.”

“I said I think it was 2007 already I would finish with Ferrari and obviously at some point it didn’t look like that and now it looks like that again. You never know what after and this and that.

“Let’s see. As always [there’s] a lot of talk, I don’t really have a lot to comment. Everybody will see at some point what happens, including me.”

Raikkonen added he is not setting a deadline to confirm his plans for next season. “I think I’ve been in this situation many times,” he said. “For sure before next year we will know, it’s a pretty normal situation.”

Ferrari is rumoured to be considering 20-year-old rookie driver Charles Leclerc as Raikkonen’s replacement. The Sauber driver has impressed by scoring points in four of the last five races.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 28 comments on “Raikkonen not ruling out return to McLaren”

    1. Interesting! If they are throwing offers at Ricciardo and Kimi it seems Alonso is certainly bound for Indy. They need a strong leader to get the team back and while Stoffel may be one in the future he hasn’t the experience just yet. Personally it seems behind the scenes issues rather then their drivers- blaming Honda now wont cut it LOL

      Kimi seems gone from Ferrari and Dan and Charles both better options, so why not do a year or two and McLaren and pick up some extra income, he is very wealthy already but a few extra million or 40 cant hurt I guess :)

      1. You think Alonso is 10 years past his prime? He’s old, but he seems to be on the same level as when he was at Ferrari. Besides we have a good reference of the difference between Alonso/Raikkonen. Alonso obliterated Raikkonen at Ferrari. Cemented him as an absolute #2

        1. That said, if Mclaren is interested in Kimi, that tells you all you need to know about Alonso.

        2. Kimi has not been able to perform at his best given the regs in hybrid era.

          Prime Kimi > Prime Alonso.

          McLaren will be hoping Raikkonen will be adapting quickly to their car and that he will be able to perform closer to his prime as a #1 again.

          1. After all, imo, raikkonen has been driving at his best when he was at mclaren, even better than the year he won the title.

            And no, alonso isn’t 10 years past his prime, probably 1 year and he’s still strong.

            1. @garns @ajpennypacker @rockie @esploratore

              I believe that if you put every current F1 driver in the same machinery, Alonso would only be second to Hamilton. I believe he’s still that good.

              Wouldn’t that be the most awesome test ever … put all the current F1 drivers in the same machinery and let them race.

              The constructors’ title is a fundamental essence of F1 … but it sure doesn’t make for great driver competition.

              Sorry. Too many gin and tonics.

        3. @ajpennypacker
          Is it Penny Packer or Art Van Da Lay ;)
          If you re-read my comment I didn’t say Alonso was 10 years past his prime, I didn’t even say his was past his prime, that was your assumption. I meant he is done with F1.
          As above, I think Alonso has the goods on every other driver on the grid (except Dan Ric, but I’m bias lol) just saying I think the guy is done with F1, he is as good (sorry, great) as ever but he is frustrated and moving on.

          1. @shimks
            I don’t think Alonso would be behind Hamilton but he would be ahead of him. I also think Daniel and Max would be ahead of him and Seb about equal.

            I am not having a go at Lewis, the guy is an amazing F1 driver. But I ask this question- if Mark Webber was to have gone to Mercedes instead of Lewis Hamilton would Webber then have 30 or so wins and 2 drivers titles?

            I believe he may have. F1 is very much about the right car at the right time. Hamilton is great but he moved at the right time, people say Seb only has wins due to Newey – the former is true and the latter disrespectful I think.

            1. Hi @garns. I guess it all depends who personally we see as the best drivers. Webber never consistently beat Vettel in the same machinery, so no, I don’t think if he had moved to Mercedes that he would have the same silverware that Hamilton has accumulated.

          2. @garns First of all, I had a good laugh with you catching the Seinfeld reference. You’re the first one ever to say something.

            Second, I responded to the wrong thread, so apologies. Someone else mentioned that Alonso was way past his prime etc etc. I actually very much agree with your original comment.

            1. @ajpennypacker
              Yep- the episode of the 3 of them acting as wealthy businessman just to use the bathroom and watch the game is one of my favorites :)

    2. Just what a McLaren needs. Another driver who’s prime was about 10 years ago.

      Kimi is about Massa level, he has a epic level bag of tricks, but ultimateley he cannot compete on all time greatest level.

      I wonder what can he bring to the team in tearms of car setup.

      1. I don’t think McLaren needs someone who can compete on an all time greatest level just yet – the car just isn’t there. By contrast, they absolutely do need Alonso or Raïkkönen level drivers to help them improve the car (along with a zillion other things that help improve the car, so it seems). From that perspective, getting Raïkkönen in if Alonso leves is a good thing.

    3. Would love to see a Vettel – Leclerc and Raikkonnen – Vandoorne line-up next year

    4. Great press conferrence :D Kimi and Danny Ric are always hilarious!

      I love it how Kimi messes with the media. His response to Crofty’s questions was awesome.

      Crofty: “Kimi, have you spoken to McLaren about a possible drive for next year?”
      Kimi: “For sure I have spoken to them. Especially during the time I raced for them.”

      1. Agreed both are very funny but most don’t get Kimi’s dry sense of humour.
        Dan always funny in his open way (Billy Connolly), Kimi is more a Monty Python and you get the humour, or you don’t. Finn’s are very dry, but funny, like that. Looks at some of Mika’s interview post race: “Mika, that seemed easy, was it?”…….. “yes that was easy, I cant believe how easy that win was”………. while driving the car at 320kph- press didn’t get the humour and called him arrogant, he wasn’t just a dry fella. Anyone following Mika on Instra now will see how funny the buggar is!

    5. So McLaren (if true) have sounded out both Ricciardo and Raïkkönen. Alonso already said he’s on his way?

      1. @tonyyeb
        Yep he’s is gone, off to Indy. Best of luck to him and hope he gets that Triple Crown he so seeks!
        He will get it, he is that type of guy.

        Maybe one day he will reflect on how he has treated some people along the way! I was a MASSIVE Senna but Ayrton was so focused he pushed others aside- Alonso does that as well.

    6. Wouldn’t it be funny if Kimi went to Macca and they actually turnt up with a spanker of a car and for some magic reason we get some more Lotus-level kimi? Presumably while Kimoa is stuck with an unreliable IndyCar?

      1. I got tingles down my spine just thinking about it

      2. I would love it, somewhere @mrboerns; it’;s unlikely, but it would be sight to behold!

        1. Why is it unlikely? If Alonso leaves then it’s nearly guaranteed :)

      3. Wouldn’t that be epic! And with Alonso’s “luck” in choosing drives it might happen

    7. Hope these teams don’t overlook Kubica – he’s as talented as Kimi ever was and importantly much more hungry to prove himself.

    8. The only reason for Mclaren to pursue Kimi will be a commercial one. Alonso is not only the benchmark for performance, as highly marketable driver, he is also a critical component in attracting sponsors to the team.

      When Alonso leaves, Mclaren will need an equally marketable driver as his replacement. Kimi is still very popular and would be an ideal stop gap. He will just get on with it.

      In the other car, perhaps Mclaren should run Lando in a couple races next season?

    9. Doesn’t look like things are going great at the McLaren camp. They went from high expectations of challenging the top 3, to hopefully cementing P4 in the WCC, to a crumbling team with an uncertain future. Now they’re trying to poach an almost retired driver who got absolutely smashed by their current #1 driver.

      I think Alonso seems exhausted of waiting for McLaren to get things right, and understandably wants to get back to winning (in other series if he has to). Ricciardo wouldn’t sign with a struggling midfield team, but a way past his prime Kimi might just for a season or two.

      Looking at all of the potential drivers who could join McLaren -> Raikonnen, Perez, Ocon, Magnussen.. you have to think that Kimi is the safest pair of hands in terms of experience, car development and marketability.

      If Mclaren’s aim is to just do damage limitation till 2021, I think Raikonnen is probably their best fit for Alonso’s seat.

    10. Seems unlikely to me, Right now I expect him to re-sign with Ferrari and them get loaned to Haas, that gives the team a backup option is Leclerc really struggles.

    Comments are closed.