'Nonsense' media gossip harms Formula 1 - Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen believes there is so much "nonsense" and "bullshit" in the media that such coverage is starting to harm Formula 1

'Nonsense' media gossip harms Formula 1 - Kimi Raikkonen

The 2007 world champion's F1 future was subject to much speculation this season, initially with rumours that McLaren was interested in its former driver before suggestions he would lose his Ferrari drive and retire.

Eventually Raikkonen negotiated a two-year deal with Sauber after learning he would be replaced at Ferrari by Charles Leclerc.

Speaking in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with Autosport, Raikkonen expressed concern that negative coverage has a tangible impact on F1.

Asked if he would trade being able to drop all media work for a cut in his salary, Raikkonen replied: "No, I don't want this. I think everybody would go! But I don't think that media makes the salary.

"People always complain that 'oh F1 is not exciting', 'it's not this', or something like 'why are people not interested so much?'.

"But to be honest, I think how much bullshit there is in the media, and stories and gossips and stuff - if that wouldn't be that much, I think F1 would be much better.

"People try to create so much nonsense that it actually starts harming F1.

"I think if there would be less nonsense and more actual things that are true it would be better for F1 in many ways."

Raikkonen's no-nonsense approach has helped build a strong working relationship with team-mate Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari and is part of the reason his second stint at the team, which was winless until the recent United States Grand Prix, has lasted so long.

His attitude towards F1's political nature is similar to how he considers troublemaking elements of the media.

"I guess it plays a big part," he said of politics in F1.

"Without it I think it would be better, but then if you take any sport these days, probably it's the same story with lots of money involved.

"It's not good for the sport, but it's just people like to play games."

Raikkonen has begun to open up more at the end of his career, sharing insight into life with his young family on Instagram and agreeing to an official biography that has been published in Finnish and English.

The untold story of Kimi Raikkonen

Part of the reason he is excited to rejoin Sauber, having started his F1 career there, is because its Hinwil base is close to his home in Switzerland.

Raikkonen adds "travelling" to the list of non-racing requirements he dislikes about modern F1.

"With kids, like our son, I went through the time that he is always hanging on your leg," he said.

"That is pretty nasty, when you have to say, 'OK, daddy comes home in two weeks', and the daughter is getting more into that now.

"Sometimes when you're tired, then you think, 'Oh, why the fuck am I here, I could be somewhere else, home'.

"But that's normal."

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