Raikkonen reveals what he enjoys most since leaving Ferrari for Alfa Romeo
Kimi Raikkonen says an uptick in his free time away from the track has helped boost his enjoyment of Formula 1 in 2019 after leaving Ferrari. The Finn has taken on the role of Alfa Romeo's senior driver this year, but sees little difference between his duties now and those he had at the Scuderia.
Raikkonen has made a fine start to life at Alfa Romeo, the rebranded Sauber team he debuted in F1 with in 2001, scoring all 13 of the team's points so far as team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi has got up to speed.
The veteran has remained as consistent as ever despite swapping the fight towards the front with the hectic midfield scrap, and thinks the two are similar.
"I think the driving is more or less the same," he said.
"Of course if you're driving and there's more racing involved it's probably more fun, but that depends on a lot of things, from race to race.
"Generally, outside the car I have obviously more free time and for sure I enjoy that more.
"And the atmosphere is very nice, so I'm very happy. Obviously you want to do better, but yes, I'm happy."
Sauber were bottom of the constructors' championship in 2017 but the team have made great strides in recent years, helped by forging closer bonds with Ferrari.
Raikkonen's addition, and ability to provide key feedback from the cockpit, was seen as vital to their continuing progress.
"In certain areas we probably need more but I think the team is still growing up," he added. "It's not many years ago that they were in a pretty bad situation and it's quite impressive how far they've moved forward in a short period of time.
"These are still building times, getting everything to be where we want to be, but people-wise we have very good people and just need to keep fine-tuning and getting better and faster decisions.
"It's all learning and I think my position isn't any different than any other year.
"Maybe with my experience I can help them in some areas but I don't feel less or more important than I was before."
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