Kimi Raikkonen’s manager Steve Robertson insists that the Ferrari driver is as motivated as he has ever been, and may yet race on with Ferrari until 2018.
Ferrari recently extended the Finn’s contract into 2017 amid criticism from some fans and other observers who felt that the Italian team should make a change.
"Someone like Kimi is in it for one reason," Robertson told this writer. "He loves racing, he loves F1. He doesn’t need to do it for any reason other than he loves it. He’s fully motivated. He’s made that very clear to the public, and for me, you can see it. I’ve known the guy for so many years, and for me he seems as motivated as when he was a young kid coming along."
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"I’m pleased for Kimi that it’s a done deal now, he knows where he’s going to be next year. It’s pressure off for him, and he can have a much nicer summer break now, knowing that he’s got what he wanted."
Robertson believes that Raikkonen has been driving better this year than in the past two seasons with Ferrari: "I think he has. He’s happier with the car. Kimi is very particular with the front end, and this car is more to his liking than the previous cars. If you look at where he is this year compared to last year, points-wise, it’s very clear."
"I think at the end of the day the team have all the information at hand, more than anybody else. What does he bring to the team? Is there anybody better out there that’s available? Obviously they felt that wasn’t the case. Only they know what he brings to the team, and at the end of the day, they made the choice."
"The one thing about Kimi is that he’s a non-confrontational guy. Sometimes if there’s no harmony in the team it can be disruptive in the long term. Kimi doesn’t throw his toys out of the pram, he keeps it all internal, he brings home the points, and the team is headed in the right direction."
Meanwhile Robertson believes that Raikkonen will want to continue with Ferrari beyond 2017.
"First of all it comes down to Kimi. Would he want to go on another year? My honest opinion is that at this moment in time, as motivated as he is right now, I would say yes. Then it comes down to what the team decides."