Kimi Raikkonen: Alfa Romeo role not different to Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen in action for Alfa Romeo F1 in Spain

Kimi Raikkonen says his role at Alfa Romeo is no different to that which he occupied at Ferrari, despite the wealth of experience that he brings to the team.

Raikkonen spent eight years with Ferrari across two spells but was replaced for 2019 by Charles Leclerc and opted to move to the rebranded Alfa Romeo squad.

Raikkonen has scored all 13 of Alfa Romeo’s points and his experience and stature has been regarded as an important boon for the team.

But Raikkonen stressed that he is “just the driver, like in any other team.

“As a team I think we’re not as big as some other teams I’ve been with, but we have the tools. It’s a bit different because we don’t produce the engines and the gearbox, like in Ferrari.

“If you purely take how many people we are, compared to the big teams, we have less, but if you take the gearbox and engine people out, I think we have quite a lot of people.

“In certain areas we probably need more but I think the team is still growing up. It’s not many years ago that they were in a pretty bad situation and it’s quite impressive how far they’ve move 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.

“[We just need to] iron out any small issues, because they can make a big difference in the results.

“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.”

Raikkonen nonetheless added that he is enjoying having a lighter off-track schedule compared to his time as a Ferrari driver.

“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.”