Kimi Raikkonen insists there are many reasons why he will depart Ferrari at the end of the current F1 season, although the Finn refused to criticise the team for its decision.
Raikkonen will be released from his contract a year early having agreed a deal with the team to end his stay at Maranello, with Fernando Alonso moving over from Renault to take his place.
It leaves the Finn to evaluate his options going forwards, but he said he had no problem with the way in which his time with Ferrari had come to an end.
“There are many reasons, why this has happened,” he told a press conference at Suzuka. “In F1, even if you have a contract, there can always be different options in life. There is not just one reason why this happened and we all reached the same decision.
“I'm still happy with what I have done in making this decision and I think I will still have a good future. Usually when you make a contract, you stick with it to the end, but there were reasons why it did not work out, but I'm okay with how things have turned out.”
Raikkonen also refused to criticise the team for its decision, insisting that he wouldn't have done anything different in a season he admits has been difficult.
“I have nothing bad to say about them as we always had a good relationship,” he said. “I don't think anyone expected Ferrari to have this sort of season, which turned out to be so difficult. But this can happen in F1 sometimes, when you don't deliver a car capable of always being at the front, but this is just one year and we will wait and see what happens next. I would not have done anything different: of course I would like to win more races, but in terms of decisions about my life, I would not do anything differently to the way I have done it.
“I am happy with what I have achieved, even if whenever you look back, you think you might have done things differently, but that's easy to say when you look back. But in terms of contracts and so on, I would not do anything different. With Ferrari, I have achieved what I set out to do in winning the title. We had good times and sometimes more difficult times, but that's part of this business and you just have to get through those moments. We won many championships, one for me, two for the team and I have happy memories.”
Team boss Stefano Domenicali was equally praising of Raikkonen, insisting he wouldn't have a bad word said against his soon-to-be former driver.
“You will never hear me saying anything negative about Kimi, never,” he said. “Because he is a great champion and he is part of Ferrari's history, having won the Drivers' world title with us, achieving his ambition with us, so Kimi is part of our team. Kimi is fantastic. After that, one has to consider the future of our team, which is a different matter.
"Looking ahead, we felt this was a decision we had to take. You look at all the options and then go with what you feel is the best one. As for the driver's personality, of course Fernando is more Latin, because he is Latin! We know he will relate differently to Kimi to the team. But as the team principal, it is important that our values which demand that the team has to be respected by the drivers, remains the same as ever.”