21 May 2015
F1 Monaco Grand Prix: Raikkonen: Every year I’m being kicked out
Kimi Raikkonen appeared unconcerned by the latest rumours concerning his future at Ferrari, preferring instead to concentrate on returning to podium contention in Monaco this weekend.
Kimi Raikkonen shrugged off a question asking his views on the suitability of countryman Valtteri Bottas as his possible replacement at Ferrari.
The Finnish veteran gave a typically deadpan reaction to the enquiry, which came with Bottas sitting directly behind him in Wednesday's FIA press conference in Monaco. Although he is enjoying a return to form with the latest Ferrari, Raikkonen's future continues to be the subject of speculation, with Bottas joining the likes of world champion Lewis Hamilton on early lists of possible replacements.
“Who knows?” Raikkonen replied, no doubt 'relieved' to hear of Hamilton's three-year Mercedes extension, “Even though we are both Finns, we don't know each other so well, and you will have to ask Ferrari what they're going to do.
“Obviously, it seems to be every year, or every team I am in, it seems I'm being kicked out or [getting] a new contract or whatever. I'm not worried about it at all. Time will tell, for sure.”
As a former winner of the Monaco Grand Prix, Raikkonen heads into this weekend aware of what is needed to conquer F1's blue riband race, but refused to be drawn on whether Ferrari could challenge Mercedes in the Principality.
“It's hard to say, obviously,” he noted, “We have go into the weekend and see how it goes tomorrow and go from there. But I expect us to be as good as we've been this year at least and then whatever happens over the weekends we will see. But I think it's a pretty normal race weekend for us, even though it's always a special place.
Unable to repeat his Bahrain podium last time out in Spain, Raikkonen admitted that he had taken a particular route in the hope of helping Ferrari evaluate its latest development parts, and said that he was more confident of being back in the fight this weekend.
“Obviously, we think that they are good parts otherwise they would not be on the car at all,” he pointed out, “There were certain things we wanted to learn and I was prepared to take the chance and work for the long future for all of us. I think we learned things and I'm sure that we will get them working 100 per cent in the future.
“Maybe here I think they should be fine. You know, every circuit, every condition, is different. It was a bit of a tricky weekend for us [in Spain] but I'm sure we'll be better here and in upcoming races. Like I said, it wasn't ideal for us but the aim is to improve. We have come still a long way from last year and we want to improve and improve and we have to keep working.”
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