Raikkonen's Ferrari exit a "blow" to F1 - Wolff

Kimi Raikkonen's departure from Ferrari at the end of this year has been labelled by Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff as a "blow" to everyone in Formula 1.

Raikkonen's Ferrari exit a "blow" to F1 - Wolff

After five years at Maranello, Raikkonen is moving to Sauber for 2019 because his bosses elected to take Charles Leclerc instead.

Raikkonen had a stronger season in 2018 than recent years, taking pole position in Italy and a win in the United States, and remains one of the most popular drivers on the grid.

Wolff therefore thinks F1 will suffer from not having him in frontrunning machinery.

"I think it changes a lot for F1 that Kimi is not in Ferrari anymore in a car that is able to win races," said Wolff, in an interview with selected media including Motorsport.com.

"He is a formidable character. He is one of the very few people in this day and age, with social media and the ego getting out of control, that stays true to himself.

"He has his values and stays true to his values, and he is authentic. That is what the fans love. So Kimi not in a Ferrari is a blow for all of us.

"But at least he is not out of it completely. He is in Sauber and it is shame that, with Fernando [Alonso] going completely and Kimi changing from Ferrari to Sauber, we are losing two unbelievable personalities in some way. Kimi and Ferrari as a combination was attractive."

Although Sauber is a competitive step down for Raikkonen, Wolff is convinced that the 2007 world champion has done the right thing in choosing to stay on in F1.

"Kimi says he is coming to enjoy things with Sauber, but the Sauber proved to be a best of the rest car," explained Wolff.

"It is also just 40 minutes away from home, so he is able to stay at home. I think with Fred [Vasseur, team boss] they have a racers group that is coming together, and a strong relationship with Ferrari, so why would he not continue to do what he enjoys doing?

"We were too much driven about what should he do: should he leave F1 because it is not a winning car anymore? But we are all here to be happy and we are all here to enjoy ourselves, and if driving is something that he truly enjoys then he is right to follow his passion."

Kimi Raikkonen, Sauber C37

Kimi Raikkonen, Sauber C37

Photo by: Joe Portlock / LAT Images

shares
comments
McLaren in talks with Alonso over 2019 F1 car test

Previous article

McLaren in talks with Alonso over 2019 F1 car test

Next article

Renault denies it inherited fourth place in 2018

Renault denies it inherited fourth place in 2018
Load comments
Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021