Raikkonen still loves racing but admits family is 'much more important'

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Kimi Raikkonen still enjoys the thrill of racing but admits family is now "much more important".

The 2007 world champion heads into his 18th season on the Formula 1 grid in 2020, a year that will see him surpass Rubens Barrichello as the most experienced driver in history.

And having left the bright lights of Ferrari for Alfa Romeo at the end of 2018, he admits it is his passion which is keeping him from calling it a day.

“I like racing, although there is much more than racing in F1,” he said speaking with El Pais.

“If I didn’t enjoy the races, I wouldn’t be here. But I would do anything not to go out to the press!

“I am sure there are a lot of things, in general, much more important to write about, but that’s how the media works now, unfortunately.

“I never intend to be in the news.”

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Raikkonen's laid back approach and no-nonsense nature has made him a fan favourite during his 17 seasons on the F1 grid, spanning back to his debut at Sauber in 2001.

But Kimi admits that was never his intention.

“Obviously, it makes me happy that there are followers who like me, there are also those who don’t like me, but I just try to do the things that make me happy," he said.

“As long as you do things that make you happy as a person that is all that matters.

“If you are happy that will help you in your work, be it driving a car or any other, it will help you in your daily life.

“If people like it, great; if they don’t like it, well that’s fine too. Each one is as it is.

“Besides, I never do anything to please anyone. I do what I do thinking about me.”

But ahead of what could also be Raikkonen's final year in F1, with his contract expiring at Alfa Romeo, the 'Iceman' admits priorities are shifting.

"Fatherhood changes your schedules completely. Also, you worry much more," he admits, with the Finn often posting images of himself with his son Robin and daughter Rianna on Instagram.


"In the end, they are young children, they need you, and there are other new things that are suddenly more important in your life.

"Now the family is much more important than racing, even if you enjoy running. I miss them a lot when I'm out.

"That is surely the hardest part, being away from home so long because there is much more boredom behind F1 than what appears."