Bernie Ecclestone praises Kimi Raikkonen for refusing to be a ‘robot’ and feels it’s vital that more people in F1 act like him.
Raikkonen’s long and illustrious F1 career came to an end with the culmination of the 2021 season. The Finn plans to move away from the pinnacle of motorsports to focus on spending time with his family and pursue other ventures.
Besides being an exceptional driver, the 2007 World Champion was known for his blunt interviews and brutally honest opinions. He never liked the limelight and often highlighted the fact that he ‘hated’ speaking to the media.
Ex F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone feels that Raikkonen’s unique quality is something that the F1 paddock will dearly miss. The Brit compared drivers nowadays to ‘robots’, who act and behave like the media want them to.
“Kimi, as a person, is a super guy,” said Ecclestone. “As a driver, he is sort of… he is a race driver! He’s what you want. He races. He doesn’t take an awful lot of notice of people, and in fact, he gives them his opinion.”
“So there’s not many… there isn’t any Kimis today, really, I don’t think. That’s the problem.”
“They’ve all become very, very much a robot, listening and doing what they’re told, rather than doing what they think is the right thing to do.” he added.
Kimi Raikkonen is looking forward to a quiet life away from F1
The Finnish legend recently revealed that he does not want to return to an F1 grid in the near future. He stated that driving was the only aspect of the sport he loved and that travelling and staying in hotels was something he grew tired of.
Raikkonen wants to spend more time with his family and go on holiday without worrying about returning to training. He also admitted that he does not have anything planned for the future.
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“My kids want a dog, but we haven’t decided yet. Maybe it’s enough for them that I will now spend more time at home again. Holidays are holidays again. Otherwise, we only had the summer break.” the former Ferrari driver said.
That was two and a half weeks, in which you had to continue training and always had in the back of your mind that normal madness would come back afterwards.”
Raikkonen drove for Alfa Romeo, racing for the final three seasons of his F1 career. In 2021, he finished 16th in the standings with 10 points to his name.