Ross Brawn, the Formula One Managing Director of Motorsports and technical director was asked about the future of Kimi Raikkonen, as the Scuderia Ferrari Finnish driver could be replaced by Charles Leclerc for the 2019 season, according to recent reports: “I don’t know what Kimi’s short-term plans are, whether he’ll stay at Ferrari, join another team or leave Formula 1 altogether.”
Ross Brawn added that he had noticed a change in the Finn: “But I do think that during his interview by his former teammate Felipe Massa (on the podium after the Italian Grand Prix), he became quite emotional watching the huge sea of fans flocking across the track to stand under the podium and chant his name. Since I returned to Formula 1 last year, I’ve noticed how Kimi has lightened up. It can be seen in a lot of little things, such as spending a bit more time signing autographs or smiling for cameras that in the past would usually have only elicited a scowl. This year, he is certainly driving better than at any time since he returned to Ferrari and maybe another chance (to win) will come along soon.” – Former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn concluded.
An announcement to that effect is expected soon in Formula One circles, with the series heading to Singapore for next week’s race. Kimi Raikkonen is the oldest driver in the sport and remains the last Ferrari driver to have won a title and one of the most popular on the starting grid. Nicknamed ‘The Iceman’ for his often glacial demeanor, his dour nature and dislike of media and sponsor engagements has also endeared him to many fans who see him as a throwback to a bygone era. The Finn appears to have softened this season, however, while raising his game on the track.
At Monza, Ferrari’s home track in Italy, last weekend he started on pole — after the fastest ever Formula One lap — and finished second to world champion Lewis Hamilton to record his 100th career podium.