Kimi Raikkonen jokingly summed up his 20-season Formula 1 career on Thursday as a progression from too inexperienced to too old, with good bits in the middle.
The evergreen Finn, who turns 41 on Oct. 17, will be making a record 323rd Formula One start at Germany’s Nuerburgring on Sunday.
The 2007 world champion with Ferrari, Raikkonen made his debut with Sauber in 2001 on probation and with experts warning the 21-year-old could cause mayhem after having made only 23 single-seater starts.
Max Mosley, then president of the governing FIA, was a lone dissenting voice in voting against Raikkonen being granted a super-licence.
The Alfa Romeo driver, who will beat the record held by Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, has the last laugh — even if behind a now obligatory face mask.
“It started with I didn’t have enough experience,” Raikkonen told reporters at the Eifel Grand Prix.
“And now I’m getting too old, so that they want to get rid of me. In the middle one way it worked okay and now it’s not great for some people.”
Ferrari’s most recent champion may not be done yet either, even if he played down speculation that he has agreed an extension for 2021.
Raikkonen said it would be his decision, and he still enjoyed the racing, but nothing had been signed.