Hakkinen: Raikkonen retirement talk not smart


Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Double F1 World Champion and fellow Finn, Mika Hakkinen has questioned Kimi Raikkonen’s admission that he will probably retire after the 2015 season.

Raikkonen, who replaced Hakkinen at McLaren when the latter retired in 2001, said at Silverstone that he is unlikely to seek a new contract once his current Ferrari tenure ends.

“Everyone does what he thinks is right,” Hakkinen said in his latest interview for sponsor Hermes, “but in my opinion that was not tactically very smart.

“If the mechanics and everyone else knows that a driver intends to just hang up his helmet in a year and a half, then they will probably pay more attention to the other driver, in this case Fernando Alonso,” the 45-year-old added.

Mika Hakkinen with Kimi Raikkonen

Mika Hakkinen with Kimi Raikkonen

Hakkinen also thinks that Raikkonen’s admission reveals a lot about his current state of mind.

“When you start to think about quitting,” he said, “it has a negative effect on your motivation. You find that you can no longer focus on the many things that you need to focus on in Formula 1.”

But, unlike some others, Hakkinen does not think Raikkonen’s huge crash at Silverstone was a case in point. Some have criticised the Ferrari driver for the way he rejoined the track after running wide at the start of the British Grand Prix.

But Hakkinen said: “Silverstone is a good track, but why is there such a big bump? When a Formula 1 car loses contact with the ground at speed, no driver can control it anymore.”

“The race has just started and the drivers are full of adrenalin, so of course he wants to come back as soon as possible. I wouldn’t blame Kimi,” he insisted. (GMM)