Kimi Raikkonen’s future in Formula 1 is not decided yet, the deal he has with Alfa Romeo right now is just a one-year contract making him not have a team for the 2022 season, the same as his teammate Antonio Giovinazzi. The one-time world champion hasn’t had the best start of the 2021 season, struggling in the first 9 races and managing just one point by finishing P10 in Azerbaijan.
Even though Alfa Romeo is one of the few teams with both seats open for the next season, Vasseur says it is “far too early” to review and make a decision on Raikkonen’s future. When he was asked about the plans for Kimi in 2022, he just said they are working together.
“We have tons of races in a row in the last two or three months, and I think that we’ll discuss together on the last part of the season, not before.”
But it indeed is too early, considering that Alfa Romeo did not announce Raikkonen and Giovinazzi’s contract renewal with the team until October last year. If the team repeats the plan, they could become an important part of the driver market for next season in case any drivers are left seeking a drive.
One of the seats can be filled by one of Ferrari’s junior drivers, which right now is Callum Ilott (2020 F2 runner-up), who is currently a reserve driver for Alfa Romeo. Another driver linked to make the switch is Mick Schumacher, who is driving for Haas this year.
Vasseur declared that it is a good plan to keep both Raikkonen and Giovinazzi under pressure over their future by avoiding an early decision on their contract.
“To keep the system under pressure is always a good thing,” Vasseur said.
“I don’t want to commit for a long time, I don’t want to say: ‘OK guys, now you are relaxed and bla bla and bla bla.’ We have to keep everybody under pressure. Formula 1 is all about pressure and we have to keep it like this.
“Secondly, we don’t know what could happen around us in the junior series, at the top of the field and so on. You don’t have to take this kind of commitment today.
“We know perfectly that the grid will be fulfilled by the top, that Mr. Toto Wolff will take his own decision and then Mr. Horner, and then at one stage it will come to us.
“But no, we are not in a rush to take this kind of decision. Things are moving, for sure we have the question mark around Kimi, but Antonio is improving and I want to keep the same buzz until the end of the season.”
If the team decides to renew both of their current driver’s contracts, it will make a fourth year in a row with the same line-up.