Lewis Hamilton says Formula 1 will be worse off for the absence of Kimi Raikkonen, amid reports that the veteran has failed to keep hold of his Ferrari seat in 2019. Widespread reports across the Italian Grand Prix weekend suggested Charles Leclerc has already penned a deal to race alongside Sebastian Vettel next year.
If Raikkonen needed to deliver at Monza in order to save his seat, he certainly tried his best - qualifying on pole with the fastest lap in the history of F1.
The Finn was unable to hold on in the race as a vice of Silver Arrows squeezed the life out of his rear tyres - Valtteri Bottas ultimately backing his countryman into Hamilton's clutches.
Although unable to break Ferrari's home-race drought - which stretches to 2010 - Raikkonen was cheered by the Tifosi and Hamilton hopes the 38-year-old will line up on the grid in 2019, with the Scuderia or not.
"Would I miss Kimi? I think it's always a difficult question to say if you miss someone," he said.
"I think the sport would naturally miss him, yeah.
"I made it no secret that before I even got to Formula 1 I was always playing… when I was playing the Playstation I was always Kimi in the McLaren, imagining that was me.
"And then I remember the first car at McLaren which was Kimi's set-up and the suspension that he would use, which was… I remember it like it was yesterday.
"It was an amazing experience and it was cool because I think our driving style was kind of similar, which meant that I ended up being quite comfortable with the set-up that he used back then.
"He's had an incredible career and it's been a real honour to race against a great Finn such as him – but he looks like he's just ice-cold.
"He's just got plenty of years left in him. He's not seeming to age. I don't know what it is about Finnish people. I think it's the sauna and the ice thing."