Kimi Raikkonen quipped that he wanted Alfa Romeo to “cancel everything” surrounding commemorating his 300th Formula 1 Grand Prix this weekend.
Monaco marks Raikkonen’s 300th entry since he joined Formula 1 in 2001, during which period he has competed for Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus.
He is the fifth driver to reach the milestone, following in the footsteps of Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button.
Alfa Romeo distributed its pre-Monaco press release with an image of Raikkonen made up as King Leonidas as a nod to the film 300.
“In the end this is just a number, for sure it’s different from the first race but after that, once you go on for a while, it doesn’t really change,” he said.
“It’s more or less the same schedule, year from year, obviously in some places this changes, but the same schedule is there but it changes because it’s in the evening or something.
“Whatever happens at the tracks is more or less copy/paste from all the other weekends, all around the year.”
He added: “I tried to force them [Alfa Romeo] to cancel everything [commemorating the milestone], but not very good success so far!”
Raikkonen walked away from Formula 1 at the end of 2009 and instead competed in the World Rally Championship – and made an appearance in NASCAR – before returning in 2012.
He feels those two years away from the sport were crucial in prolonging his career to this point.
“It doesn’t feel that long, honestly,” he said. “Being two years out, without that for sure, I wouldn’t be here today.
“That kind of somehow made it not to feel that long, having a bit of a normal time in that time.
“I think afterwards, whenever I stop and maybe look back, then it makes a bit more sense and feels a bit more different.
“Now for me, I don’t really feel that it’s been that long. I had some good races, some good results, but it’s just racing at the end of the day.”
Raikkonen is contracted to Alfa Romeo through the end of 2020, meaning he is set to break Barrichello’s record of 323 grands prix – an aspect he is completely non-plussed about.
“I’m not here because I can be the most grands prix,” he commented. “It gives me absolutely zero pleasure. It’s purely a number.
“I’ve already told the team a while ago I don’t want… it’s as any other race here, but people try to celebrate. It’s a number, what’s the difference?”