Raikkonen notes no pressure difference from Ferrari to Alfa Romeo
It is often perceived that the pressure to succeed in a team like Ferrari is far greater than that of a smaller F1 team. Raikkonen, however, states that there is no difference. The Finnish driver has raced at both leading, and losing teams throughout his career.
The most notable jump – which doesn’t happen often – was moving from Ferrari to Alfa Romeo for the 2019 F1 season. Across both teams, however, Raikkonen has noted no changes in pressure from the top to bottom of the grid.
Despite this, Raikkonen also admitted that away from the paddock, he is able to breath more at the new team, which is closer to his home, and is no doubt less demanding on the media front. “I don’t think the pressure was any different,” he said.
“We want to do well and like I said, it’s a shame we’ve kind of fallen down as a team but as a driver, I think everyone puts a lot of pressure on themselves and in the end the work that we do over the race weekend is not really any different whichever team you’re in.
“It’s just that the meetings are very similar between teams, the driving is there and the racing. Outside of racing it has been less busy so that’s nice part of it plus obviously the team is very close to where I live so I don’t need to travel to different countries.
“In many ways it helps, I have a bit more time to stay with the family. It’s a nice thing.” With Raikkonen having two young children, it certainly helped the Finn to live his passion of F1 at a good level and also be there for his family as they grow together.
Meanwhile, reflecting on the season’s on-track festivities, the 40-year-old stated that it was a tale of two seasons – the former half where the team found success, and the latter, in which it suffered slightly, which is a learning for F1 2020.
“I think it’s two different halves of the year where the first part of the year was pretty decent and most of the races and also we had some bad races around Barcelona, Monaco but it improved from there and then since the summer break,” said Raikkonen.
“First we had good speed still but didn’t score any points as a team and then it’s been very difficult apart from the last couple of races where we at least had some speed to fight in the top ten. Only in the last one could we score good points with two cars.
“But it’s a bit too late, looking more as a team halfway through but that’s how it goes. I think we learned some things. We brought a new front wing which helped a bit, so we’re trying to improve, so it’s all learning for next year and we try to do a better job as a team.”
Alfa Romeo finished eighth overall in the constructors’ championship with 57 points as Raikkonen was 12th in the drivers’ standings with 43.
[Note: This story was written by me for FormulaRapida, and edited by Darshan Chokhani]