Alfa Romeo has revealed its desire to retain Kimi Raikkonen for 2022 by offering him an advisory role if by any chance the former world champion is interested.
The 41-year-old announced his retirement last week ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix despite missing the Zandvoort race weekend after testing positive for Covid-19. Although he has not yet made any plans in regards to his future apart from spending more time with his family, Alfa Romeo has expressed its interest in retaining him for 2022 as an advisor as he holds experience in the F1 sport.
Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur said he would like to talk with Raikkonen to see if he wishes to continue working together with the team. Vasseur signed Raikkonen at the end of 2018 after Ferrari let him go. However, Vasseur says it is wrong to try to rush Raikkonen into making 2022 plans with his retirement news having just only come out.
“I think I saw that already he had some proposal for other series or something like this, so I think it’s much better to let things calm down,” explained Vasseur.
“Then we’ll have time to discuss about what we could do in the future. I would be more than keen to have Kimi on board somewhere, but I think he has to take time.
“I think it would be a mistake [for him] to take another option today, and say: ‘Okay I will do this, and I will do this.’ He has to calm down to realise what the decision means and then it will be time to decide about the future.”
“He was able to bring to the team huge experience,” said Vasseur. “He drove the last 20 years, in a winning team, always fighting for the championship.
“This was a huge support to the development of the team. I’m not speaking about results on the day-by-day basis, but midterm development on the project. He knows perfectly where the performance is coming from.
“And also in parallel, in terms of image for the team, it was a huge push. I would have loved to have better results and to do more, but that’s also the purpose of racing, that you always want to do more and to get more. But it is like it is and the support from Kimi was an impressive one.”