Kimi Raikkonen displayed his trademark insouciance as he told journalists in the Melbourne paddock that he has no idea how long his F1 comeback will last.
The Finn ended a two-year sabbatical in the World Rally Championship when he signed for the Lotus team, and appears to be on the pace for points after showing well alongside new team-mate Romain Grosjean in pre-season testing. However, despite the goal of returning the former Renault team to its previous frontrunning status, Raikkonen refuses to commit himself long term to a sport he detests in parts.
"I'm always happy - if you're not happy, you do something else," the 32-year old former world champion told Reuters
, "It's good to be back in racing [and], hopefully, we're going to have a good year. We don't know yet. If we are last, then I am disappointed - but I don't think we are going to be last. The car feels good but are we fast enough? I don't know."
Raikkonen, known as Iceman to his fans, has long held a distaste for the off-track aspects of F1, and admits that he hasn't changed much during his absence from the top flight, even revealing that he didn't go out of his way top watch the races that went on without him.
"The racing is the main thing, drivers like to race, that's not any secret," he insisted, "That's what I want to do... and the rest is part of it.
"There's an awful lot of things in life other than F1 - people can think what they like, but I had other things to do at that time. I had my own things to do, not sitting in my home and watch racing. If I don't watch the race, it doesn't mean that I don't like it. I never said that - I have always liked the racing, [and] I always liked F1. It's certain things on the outside [of the racing] in F1 that I'm not the biggest fan of, and I have never hidden that."
How long he can remain in love with the sport, particularly if the PR aspects begin to take their toll, remains to be seen, and Raikkonen himself is putting no minimum time on his latest visit.
"Who knows? I have no plans," he said, "I have a contract, but sometimes, when you have a contract, it doesn't mean anything in F1. You never know, so just wait and see what happens in the future. So far, I haven't found any bad things in Lotus, they are nice people and they like racing, not so much politics. They want to do racing and they want to do it well. That's a good sign."