Kimi Raikkonen has admitted it was a “relief” when his lucrative deal with Ferrari ended in 2009.
The premature termination of the Finn’s contract, making room for the arrival of Fernando Alonso and major sponsor Santander, pushed Raikkonen out of F1 completely and off to a two-year foray in world rallying and Nascar. But the now 33-year-old returned to the grid this year with Lotus, performing impressively to now sit a comfortable third in the drivers’ standings, and having notched up his 19th career grand prix last weekend in Abu Dhabi. He is also signed up for 2013.
Asked by the Spanish sports newspaper Marca to recall his memories of racing for F1’s most famous team Ferrari, Raikkonen answered: “Neither good nor bad.
“I won a title with them and had some good times. I am satisfied with the three years I spent there. I don’t miss anyone,” he admitted. “To me, leaving there was a relief.
“The situation could have been better, but it’s the past and what is done cannot be reversed,” said Raikkonen. “Things don’t last long if you’re working somewhere and the relations are not good.”
He explained that, in contrast, he enjoys working with Lotus.
“I felt good from the start,” said Raikkonen. “People work hard and calmly, but they want to win and the sport and the technical sides come before the politics.”