Kimi Raikkonen has brushed off suggestions he would be motivated to remain in Formula 1 to extend the record for most race starts.
Raikkonen will equal the tally of 322 set by Rubens Barrichello when he lines up on the Sochi Autodrom grid in his Alfa Romeo for Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix.
Should Raikkonen start the remaining eight races of this campaign he will finish on 329, which could be his final number as he has yet to decide on his future.
The returning Fernando Alonso, who will drive for Alpine in 2021, could eventually become the new record holder next season as he has 311 starts to his name.
“That’s not the reason if I’m staying or not,” Raikkonen said when hearing of Alonso potentially breaking the record.
“Every record is going to be broken at some point in most of the sports, that’s just how it has happened.
“I’ve said it many times, it doesn’t for me make a difference right now, but maybe in the future when I look back on things – whatever the number will be or the position will be – maybe I will look at it a bit different.
“But right now, it’s like any other race, we will try to make a good one out of it and see what happens.”
Raikkonen has twice previously finished on the podium in Russia, claiming third in 2016 and ’17. It could have been three in a row but for a collision in 2015 with compatriot Valtteri Bottas on the final lap.
While there is little chance of a podium this weekend, Raikkonen said: “I always enjoy coming here. The end results obviously could’ve been better many times, but that’s with any place you go.
“Some years you do better than others, that’s how it goes, but I do enjoy coming here. The facilities are good, they’re all pretty new, the hotel is next door. It works well.”
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