Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen said on Thursday that Formula One has “become more a hobby for me lately”, as the famously taciturn Finn approaches his 40th birthday.

Dubbed the “Iceman” for his cool demeanour, Raikkonen is in the twilight of his career with Alfa Romeo and will compete in his 297th grand prix in Shanghai this weekend. Sunday’s race will be the 1,000th in Formula One and Raikkonen – whose first race came way back in 2001 – has been a popular staple of the sport.

“I don’t have any special things that I try to motivate myself,” Raikkonen, who won the drivers’ title with Ferrari in 2007, said ahead of practice on Friday at the Chinese Grand Prix.

“It’s become more of a hobby for me lately than anything else and probably that’s why it’s more fun again.”

Raikkonen, who will turn 40 in October, added: “I just try to do what I can and hopefully... when I feel myself that it’s not what I expect from myself, then obviously I try to find a new hobby after that.”