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Kimi Raikkonen

Ecclestone: It's a problem there aren't any more Kimis on the grid

Bernie Ecclestone expressed his admiration at how the Finn refused to be a "robot".

20 years Kimi Raikkonen Bahrein
To news overview © Alfa Romeo

Bernie Ecclestone has said that it's a bad thing there aren't any more drivers like Kimi Raikkonen on the grid.

The Finn recently called time on his F1 career after two decades, choosing to leave the sport behind at the end of 2021.

Having spent 20 years racing at the top level of motorsport, he was almost as famous for his no-nonsense nature that constantly frustrated the media in interviews as he was for his speed and talent.

It's that unwillingness to become a PR-friendly "robot" that impressed former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, who was at the helm of the sport for the first three quarters of Raikkonen's F1 career.

"Kimi, as a person, is a super guy," Ecclestone told Sport1.de.

"As a driver, he is sort of... he is a race driver! He's what you want. He races. He doesn't take an awful lot of notice of people, [and] in fact, he gives them his opinion.

"So there's not many... there isn't any Kimis today, really, I don't think – that's the problem.

"They've all become very, very much a robot, listening and doing what they're told, rather than doing what they think is the right thing to do."

Raikkonen hasn't listened to any of the advice

Raikkonen himself has spoken about his career in recent days, and revealed that he may choose to never set foot in a Formula 1 paddock again if he doesn't feel like doing so.

Having retired from the last race of his career with a technical issue, Raikkonen told Bild that "I'm just glad it's over. Even the fact that I couldn't finish the last race doesn't matter."

As for the longevity of his career, the question was put to him about the best advice he'd ever been given. But Raikkonen quickly revealed that he had never taken advice onboard.

"Many have tried to give me advice, but I haven't listened to any of it!" he said.

"I've always done my thing and have no regrets. I would do it all again. Everyone has to know for themselves what is best for their life. Even the boss can't dictate things to you."

The word 'legend' is frequently attributed to Raikkonen, but he has revealed that he doesn't like to think about himself in that way.

"People say that. I'm not interested in that," he added. "I know who I am – I am Kimi."

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