Hakkinen says Raikkonen "not smart" to talk of retirement


Mika Hakkinen has criticised Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen's decision to talk about retiring at the end of the 2015 season.

34-year-old Raikkonen is the oldest man on the current grid and is in the first of a two-year deal with the Scuderia. He recently admitted he is likely to call time on his F1 career at the conclusion of his current contract, but his fellow countryman Hakkinen believes this was a mistake.

“Everyone does what he thinks is right, but in my opinion that was not tactically very smart," said two-time world champion Hakkinen.

“If the mechanics and everyone else knows that a driver intends to just hang up his helmet in a year and a half, then they will probably pay more attention to the other driver, in this case Fernando Alonso.”

The former McLaren star added that Raikkonen's retirement talk could be linked to his nightmare start to the 2014 season. The Ferrari driver has been roundly defeated by team-mate Alonso, and suffered a huge accident at the British Grand Prix.

“When you start to think about quitting, it has a negative effect on your motivation," said Hakkinen.

“You find you can no longer focus on many things that you need to focus on in Formula One.”

Hakkinen quit F1 in 2001 after becoming exhausted by world title battles in 1998, 1999 and 2000. His place at the McLaren team was taken by a young Raikkonen, who had starred in his maiden season with Sauber.