By Ziaan Siems
The world of racing has always delivered on characters, but none have been as delightfully cold as Kimi Räikkönen.
Kimi (42) started his career in 2001, as a 22-year-old driving for Sauber-Petronas before moving to McLaren the following year. Though he finished as runner-up in the Drivers’ Championship a couple of times with McLaren, he had to move house before finally getting the monkey off his back.
Success with Ferrari
In 2007 the Iceman moved to the Scuderia Ferrari team after Michael Schumacher called time on his career. Kimi teamed up with Brazilian Felipe Massa, and it turned out to be a sensational year for the Fin.
Räikkönen took pole position at the first race of the season in Australia, converting the good start into a Grand Prix win. Kimi was the first person to win his first Grand Prix with Ferrari since Nigel Mansell in 1989.
Kimi went on to win the Championship that year, following stiff competition from Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.
He is a driver with great instincts and confirmed that he mostly stuck to his own guns
“I think I was given a lot of advice but didn’t listen.
“At work, if I had an option, I wouldn’t do most of what I’m asked, but with your life, how you live your life… you live it for yourself. If you try to live it as someone else wants, you might do it for a year or two but it will not end up very nicely.
“I’m happy I lived my way. Good or bad, I can live with it because it’s my decision.”
Icy from the beginning
Like most F1 drivers, he started his journey with Go-Karts at the age of 10. The Fin quickly got the reputation for being dauntless on the track.
At the age of 15, in his first race outside of Finland, his steering wheel broke but continued on. He then tried to get the attention of his mechanic by frantically waving the steering wheel in the air on the home straight. That race was in Monaco, and on his next trip down the rich man’s playground, he had another memorable outing.
On the very first lap, he collided with another driver and was thrown over the safety fence. He then lifted his go-cart over the fence and continued on. While his mechanic was under the impression that he had retired, Räikkönen continued on, catching up to the rest of the competitors to eventually finish in the third place.
That laid the foundation for a spectacular career in F1. And of course, he has provided us with many laughs by just being himself.
Now they will finally leave you alone while you are driving.