Alfa Romeo: Raikkonen's F1 future won't be discussed until late in season

Alfa Romeo is not planning to talk to Kimi Raikkonen about his Formula 1 future until late in the 2021 season, according to team boss Frederic Vasseur.

Alfa Romeo: Raikkonen's F1 future won't be discussed until late in season

Raikkonen is currently the oldest driver on the F1 grid and will turn 42 before the end of the season, with his current deal at Alfa Romeo expiring ahead of the 2022 campaign.

The 2007 world champion has endured a tricky start to the 2021 season that has seen him score just a single point in the opening nine races, finishing 10th in Azerbaijan.

Raikkonen has also struggled to match team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi’s qualifying form so far this year, trailing the Italian 7-2 on Saturdays and dropping out in Q1 at the last three races.

Alfa Romeo is one of the few teams with two open seats remaining for 2022, with both Raikkonen and Giovinazzi currently on one-year deals.

But Vasseur made clear that it was “far too early” to discuss Raikkonen’s future for 2022 given how long there was remaining in the campaign.

“We are working together,” Vasseur said when asked about Raikkonen’s plans for 2022.

“We have tons of races in a row in the last two or three months, and I think that we’ll discuss together on the last part of the season, not before.”

Alfa Romeo did not announce that Raikkonen and Giovinazzi would be staying for another season until October last year, sticking with the same line-up for a third straight year.

But the team could be an important part of the driver market for next season should any drivers be left seeking a drive.

Ferrari can place one of its juniors at the team - the seat currently occupied by Giovinazzi - and has 2020 F2 runner-up Callum Ilott currently operating in a reserve role with Alfa Romeo.

Fellow Ferrari youngster Mick Schumacher, who drives for Haas, has also been linked with a possible move across to Alfa Romeo.

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal, Alfa Romeo Racing

Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal, Alfa Romeo Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Vasseur explained that it was good to keep both Raikkonen and Giovinazzi under pressure over their future by avoiding an early decision on the line-up for next year.

“To keep the system under pressure is always a good thing,” Vasseur said.

“I don’t want to commit for a long time, I don’t want to say: ‘OK guys, now you are relaxed and bla bla and bla bla.’ We have to keep everybody under pressure. Formula 1 is all about pressure and we have to keep it like this.

“Secondly, we don’t know what could happen around us in the junior series, at the top of the field and so on. You don’t have to take this kind of commitment today.

Read Also:

“We know perfectly that the grid will be fulfilled by the top, that Mr. Toto Wolff will take his own decision and then Mr. Horner, and then at one stage it will come to us.

“But no, we are not in a rush to take this kind of decision. Things are moving, for sure we have the question mark around Kimi, but Antonio is improving and I want to keep the same buzz until the end of the season.”

shares
comments

Related video

Why there’s far more to Russell than qualifying specialism

Previous article

Why there’s far more to Russell than qualifying specialism

Next article

Marko: Red Bull move for Russell "worth considering" if he misses out at Mercedes

Marko: Red Bull move for Russell "worth considering" if he misses out at Mercedes
Load comments
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021