Vasseur said he could “perfectly understand” the decision. He added: “I think he was not far away to do it one year ago. It is a personal decision that seasons are more and more demanding.
“What is good is he took time on the decision because it is not an easy one and I think the worst-case scenario is say ‘Okay, stop’ and then the Monday morning after the last race say ‘What can I do?’"
Asked if he would like to retain Raikkonen in an advisory position, Vasseur added: “I saw already he had some proposals from other series or things, I think it is much better to let him calm down and then we will have time to discuss.
“I would be more than keen to have Kimi on board somewhere but I think he has to take time. It would be a mistake to take another option today and say ‘Ok, I will do this, I will do this.’
“Kimi was able to bring to the team a huge experience. He drove the last 20 years in a winning team, always fighting for the championship, and this was hugely important to the development of the team.
“I am not speaking about results but mid-term development and 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 do more, but it is 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 a huge one.”
Alfa to make a quick decision on Raikkonen replacement
Vasseur would not be pressed on who will take Raikkonen’s place, stating slightly tongue-in-cheek that “it is not a matter of nationalities” when asked if he particularly liked Finnish drivers.
He did, however, confirm the team is keen to make a quick decision. He said: “We will do it soon. I don’t know if it will be next week or the week after but I think now we have already almost all the cards in our hands.
“We have to move forward and take a decision and, in that, yes, [I hope] we will be able to do it quickly. I don’t know if it is before or after Monza or before Sochi.”
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