Kimi Raikkonen doubts he would still be racing in Formula 1 if he had not taken a two-year break from the sport in 2010 and 2011.

Raikkonen became only the fifth driver in F1 history to enter 300 grands prix in Monaco last weekend, with the Finn on-course to be second only to Rubens Barrichello for entries by the end of the season.

Raikkonen made his F1 debut for Sauber in 2001, but took a two-year break from F1 after leaving Ferrari at the end of 2009, spending time in rallying and sampling other racing disciplines before returning with Lotus for the 2012 season.

Without this break, Raikkonen said it is unlikely would have lasted so long in F1.

“It doesn’t feel that long, honestly. Being two years out, without that for sure, I wouldn’t be here today,” Raikkonen explained.

“That kind of somehow made it not feel that long, having a bit of normal time in that time.

“I think afterwards, whenever I stop and maybe look back, then it makes a bit more sense and feels a bit different. Now for me, I don’t really feel that it’s been that long.

“I had some good races, some good results, but it’s just racing at the end of the day.”

Assuming Raikkonen enters every race between now and the end of the season, he will sit on 315 entries, one clear of Fernando Alonso’s tally of 314.

This will leave only Barrichello ahead, who entered 326 races between 1993 and 2011, meaning Raikkonen should surpass that number midway through the 2020 season.

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