Kimi Raikkonen has admitted Alfa Romeo’s level of competitiveness in 2021 will not impact whether he continues racing in Formula 1.

2021 is Raikkonen’s 19th season in F1 and the Finn has 330 grand prix starts to his name - the most of anyone in the history of the sport.

Alfa Romeo appears to have made a step forward in terms of performance, benefitting from the gains made by Ferrari with its power unit.

Raikkonen and teammate Antonio Giovinazzi narrowly missed out on the points at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, but the duo were well clear of Williams and Haas - Alfa's main rivals in 2020.

“I doubt it’s going to make any difference in what will happen for next year,” Raikkonen said. “Obviously the better we can do, the more fun it is, not just for us drivers but for the team and everybody is happier the better we do. 

“The years when you’re not exactly where you want to be are always long years and it’s not as much fun and you can see that in everybody’s faces. Obviously, wherever we end up in the first race we’ll keep on working and trying to improve and hopefully we’ll be up there where we want to be, regularly challenging for the points. For sure it's not going to be easy, everyone wants to be up there, so we just have to keep on working.”

Assessing the performance of the Alfa Romeo C41, Raikkonen believes it is a clear “step forward” on its predecessor. 

“Yes, for sure, we have a bit more horsepower and it’s definitely a step forward,” Raikkonen added. “In many ways you would expect all the manufacturers to be doing the same thing, depending on how much they improved or didn’t improve compared to last year. It’s a step in the right direction but it’s the same as with the car, you always want more, but it’s going in the right direction.”