Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen is the most experienced driver in F1 ever as he holds the record for the greatest number of races entered at 341. He will also be 42 next year and there has been no concrete indication from him on whether he will stay in F1. Rumors have also been abound recently suggesting that current Haas driver Mick Schumacher will be signed by Alfa Romeo to replace Kimi. Team principal Frederic Vasseur has now spoken about the driver situation while directly addressing the possibility of Kimi driving for them next year as quoted by GPFans
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0:00 - Mick Schumacher To Replace Kimi Raikkonen At Alfa Romeo Next Year?
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I'm your host Dillon Shelley and first up on Formula World:
Mick Schumacher To Replace Kimi Raikkonen At Alfa Romeo Next Year?
Vasseur started off by responding to the rumors of Mick Schumacher driving for them next year
“It is far too early to discuss this. We are working together, we have tonnes of races in a row over the last two or three months and I think we [will] discuss together in the last part of the season, not before”
“To keep the system under pressure is always a good thing. I don’t want to commit for a long time, I don’t want to say ‘Okay guys, you can relax and blah blah’. We have to keep everybody under pressure”
“F1 is all about pressure and we have to keep it like this. We don’t know what could happen around us, in the junior series and in the top of the field and so on and we don’t want to take this kind of commitment today”
He summed up his words by speaking specifically about his current driver line-up
“We know that the grid will begin to form at the top. Mercedes will make its decision, then it will be Red Bull's turn and at some point, it will be our turn. At the moment, we do not have to decide. We have doubts right now with Kimi, but Antonio is improving”
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has suggested that “both Pierre [Gasly] and Alex [Albon] are tremendously gifted drivers, but timing just wasn’t right” during their time at Red Bull
“Then the pressured environment that [they] have, and the expectation, it was very tough for them”
He also feels that it was a “bold move to step out of the scheme this year with Sergio [Perez] but the way he settled in and the way he’s delivering, it would have been very tough for him not to be in Formula 1”
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo has “had success in this sport for the last ten years and [he doesn't] want to suddenly give up everything that got [him] there”
“That's why [he wants] to continue to use [his] instincts. On the other hand, it would be stubborn to say: the way I do it is right”
He has “to learn to acknowledge the facts. Because when [he looks] at Lando, [he sees] that the car works very well with a different driving technique”
Aston Martin’s reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg pointed out that “Max [Verstappen] and Lewis [Hamilton] are performing at the very highest level and it is fascinating to follow the championship”
He added that Max “is only 23, but already has six years of experience in Formula 1. As a result, he's already insanely seasoned”
AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has stated “that a young driver needs three years to understand this complicated Formula 1, because Formula 1 has become much more complicated than it was years ago”
Alpine’s Fernando Alonso thinks that they “will fight with AlphaTauri and Aston Martin for fifth place for sure”
He also thinks “it is more building the team structure, fine-tuning the pit stops, the strategy, the tyre management, and many things that [they] can to be as prepared as possible for 2022”
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff thinks that “Sebastian [Vettel] is someone who not only looks at sustainability, but lives by it”, referring to Vettel’s statement that he will vote for the Green Party
“It's in keeping with his character that he has this attitude. I think that's absolutely fine”
“It is sometimes a tightrope act to fly around the world as a Formula 1 driver, to operate these monster machines and at the same time to say that you vote green. He has to take the criticism”, Wolff added
Retired F1 driver turned pundit Martin Brundle has explained that “if you were running Mercedes-Benz, you’d ask is Valtteri Bottas our man to win the World Championship when Lewis inevitably retires two, three, four years into the future. You’d have to think no”
“I hate to say that, I really admire Valtteri as he is a great driver and does an amazing job against the might of Lewis Hamilton”, Brundle added
However, he thinks “Mercedes have to get a young gun in there that would emerge as their automatic new team leader sooner than later”
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