Kimi Raikkonen admits the future of his Formula One career beyond the 2016 season is “out of our hands”.
The Finn’s Ferrari contract ends at the end of the current season after the Scuderia picked up his one-year option last summer. Coming off a somewhat disappointing 2015 campaign that saw new team-mate Sebastian Vettel score nearly double the amount of points he amassed, Raikkonen has already secured two podiums finishes in four races this year.
The 36-year-old was asked at the recent Russian Grand Prix whether he would still be competing in F1 next season. To which the unflappable Raikkonen first replied: “I don’t know”.
Pushed to talk about his contract situation, the 2007 world champion added: “I have [a deal] until the end of this year so who knows what will happen next year but I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t enjoy what I do.
“Obviously I have a passion for racing but many things are not in our hands. We can only try to do our best and then see what the future will bring. We go race by race. I’m sure at some point this year, latest next year we will know.”
Several names have already appeared on the Maranello rumour mill as possible replacements for Raikkonen. The list includes Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, with Haas’s Romain Grosjean a potential dark horse candidate given the US team’s strong technical partnership with Ferrari.
The Scuderia was also reportedly interested in Toro Rosso phenom Max Verstappen but the 18-year-old's fast-track promotion to Red Bull means he is locked in at Milton Keynes for the long term.