Alfa Romeo F1 open to advisory role for Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo is open to the idea of keeping Kimi Raikkonen on board in some form of advisory role next year, if the former Formula 1 world champion is interested.

Alfa Romeo F1 open to advisory role for Raikkonen

Raikkonen announced his retirement from F1 ahead of last weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix, shortly before he tested positive for coronavirus and had to miss the Zandvoort race weekend.

While the Finn has not yet made any plans about what he will do in the future, beyond spending more time with his family, Alfa Romeo is keen to tap into his experience and insight.

Team boss Fred Vasseur, who signed Raikkonen after he was dropped by Ferrari at the end of 2018, said he would like to talk to his driver at some point to see if they can continue working together.

He thinks it would be wrong, however, to try to rush Raikkonen into making a decision about 2022 plans immediately, with his retirement news having only just come out.

“I think I saw that already he had some proposal for other series or something like this, so I think it's much better to let things calm down,” explained Vasseur.

“Then we'll have time to discuss about what we could do in the future. I would be more than keen to have Kimi on board somewhere, but I think he has to take time.

“I think it would be a mistake [for him] to take another option today, and say: ‘Okay I will do this, and I will do this.’ He has to calm down to realise what the decision means and then it will be time to decide about the future.”

Vasseur says that although Raikkonen may not have delivered the results with Alfa Romeo that both would have liked, there were many great qualities he brought the Swiss team.

“He was able to bring to the team huge experience,” said Vasseur. “He drove the last 20 years, in a winning team, always fighting for the championship.

“This was a huge support to the development of the team. I'm not speaking about results on the day-by-day basis, but midterm development on the project. He knows perfectly where the performance is coming from.

“And also in parallel, in terms of image for the team, it was a huge push. I would have loved to have better results and to do more, but that's also the purpose of racing, that you always want to do more and to get more. But it is like it is and the support from Kimi was an impressive one.”

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