Kimi Raikkonen’s 19-season career came to an end almost three weeks ago at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but the Finn discussed various topics on F1’s 'Beyond the grid' podcast with Tom Clarkson ahead of his retirement.
Raikkonen, a winner of 21 races and the World Championship in 2007, was asked about working with legendary designer Adrian Newey when he joined McLaren in 2002 at the age of 22.
Newey’s longevity has been remarkable. He designed another championship-winning car in 2021 thanks to Max Verstappen claiming the Drivers’ Championship,
''I was quite young at that time [but] obviously it was great,'' he said.
''Everybody knows what good cars he has built for a long long time and is still building good cars.''
Raikkonen worked with Newey at McLaren from 2002-2005 and suffered a remarkable amount of unreliability in those four seasons, arguably costing him the title in 2003 and especially 2005.
Nonetheless, the Finnish star said that the MP4-20 is probably his favourite car that he drove in Formula One and praises Newey for taking risks with designing his car to maximise the performance of it.
''At the beginning of the year, it was always things were falling off and then make them a little bit heavier to stay on the car,'' he said.
''I think it’s the right way in a way to approach... now it’s slightly different because testing is much less; those days we could do a lot of testing before the season and you had more time to fix things.
''It’s easier to make the fast car reliable than the slower car fast. I like the approach to push the limits.
''Not every year was the greatest car but when it was good it was really good.''