Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone hailed retired driver Kimi Raikkonen and his career, saying that he was one of a kind.
Raikkonen retired at the end of 2021, bringing about the end of an illustrious career glittered with speed, wins and a world championship. He was also a great character, speaking his mind at a time when drivers are becoming very media-friendly.
The 2007 world champion was known for not mincing his words and saying things as he saw it. This approach earned him a lot of fans and admirers, with the former F1 boss among them.
Ecclestone hailed Raikkonen and his career, saying that he will be missed and that he was irreplaceable in F1.
“Kimi, as a person, is a super guy,” the Brit told sport1.de.
“As a driver, he’s a race driver. He’s what you want: he races (and) doesn’t take an awful lot of notice of people. In fact, he gives them his opinion.
“There aren’t any Kimis today really, I don’t think. That’s the problem.
“They’ve all become very, very much (like) a robot, listening and doing what they’re told, rather than doing what they think is the right thing to do.”
Never say never
When asked if he would miss F1, Raikkonen said, “Only time will tell.
“What I already know – driving is the only thing I liked about it! I may never set foot in the paddock again.
“Formula 1 was never my life. There were always things that were more important to me. Nothing will change about that. I didn’t stop because I didn’t have the strength but because I have better things to do than sit on planes and stay in hotels.
“That vacation is vacation again. Otherwise, we only had the summer break. That was two and a half weeks in which you had to continue training and always had in the back of your mind that afterwards the normal madness would be back,” he concluded.