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Alfa Romeo would have entertained Raikkonen contract talks before retirement

Alfa Romeo would have entertained Raikkonen contract talks before retirement

F1 News

Alfa Romeo would have entertained Raikkonen contract talks before retirement

Alfa Romeo would have entertained Raikkonen contract talks before retirement
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur has indicated the team would have entertained discussions with Kimi Raikkonen over a new contract if the 2007 champion so wished.

Raikkonen brought an end to his F1 career at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, 20 years after his rookie season with the same team.

Alfa Romeo signed fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas to replace the veteran, with Guanyu Zhou being signed to take over from Formula E-bound Antonio Giovinazzi.

Whilst Raikkonen's departure was his own decision, speaking in an end-of-season interview including GPFans, Vasseur insisted talks would have taken place over a new contract.

"For sure, we would have discussed the point to understand the motivation and so for me it's... you don't have to do the year too much," said Vasseur.

"It's true that now it's a bit different compared to before when we were doing 16 races or 17. Next year you have 23.

"You have 10 races at the end in 12 weeks or something like this and that travelling around the world that you need really to have someone fully in.

"I think it's quite human as a reaction that at one stage that you want also to turn the page and move on with the family and so on.

"As a team, we need to have the guarantee that the guy will be fully dedicated and I think Kimi was very clever into the approach over the summer.

"At one stage, he said "Okay, guys, I did 22 years like this.

"Perhaps the fact that we are not fighting for the podium, it's not helping him, also.

"We have to understand that he did 22 seasons, perhaps 19 in teams where he was able to fight for pole position and this is probably part of the normal frustration."

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