Jun 1, 2014, 9:20 AM EDT
Kimi Raikkonen has rejected claims suggesting that he may no longer be interested in Formula 1, affirming his focus on returning to winning ways with Ferrari in 2014.
The Finn famously walked away from Ferrari and the sport at the end of 2009 in order to pursue other ventures, including rallying and a one-off NASCAR appearance. When he returned in 2012 with Lotus, he appeared to have his old spark back, but after being forced out of Enstone due to a lack of payment, he returned to Ferrari for this season.
However, it has not gone entirely to plan. Raikkonen currently sits 12th in the drivers’ standings with just 17 points, and is some 44 points behind teammate Fernando Alonso. Nevertheless, he remains as determined as ever.
“I have more experience compared to when I won the title and I am a few years older but I don’t feel [different], and I still have a great desire to race,” Raikkonen explained.
“As for rallying? Certainly I would like to do more of it but for now I’m completely focused on Formula 1.”
In terms of the championship, though, Raikkonen has written off his hopes of a second title this year, believing that Mercedes will continue to dominate as it has done so far this year.
“I think it is very difficult for anyone to battle with the Mercedes drivers but you never know,” he said. “I would like it to be us even if that will be hard, especially for me personally, given the position in the championship.
“But I have always been used to fighting and together with the team, which is still hard at work on the development of the F14 T, I hope to be able to get some good results.
“As I’ve said, we are doing an incredible amount of work and I think we will sort out our problems, but you need time. If we manage it before the end of the season the results will come because my motivation is intact.”