Kimi RaikkonenKimi Raikkonen
Few drivers capture the fans’ imagination as much as Kimi Raikkonen. Not only has the Finn come to represent a generation of drivers whose talent produced one of the best eras of racing in Formula One; Kimi has also done it while displaying a unique attitude that harks back to the times of legends of the sport such as James Hunt.
The 2007 World Champion always appeared destined for success at the highest level of motorsport. With just little more than 20 single-seater races under his belt, Kimi was scouted by Peter Sauber for his eponymous team at the young age of 21. In a time before the current generation of baby-drivers emerging from the junior formulas, it was a move that sent shockwaves through the world of Formula One. Scoring points on his debut race in Melbourne in 2001 and helping the team to a then-highest championship finish of fourth burnished Kimi’s reputation as one of the hottest properties in the sport.
A move to McLaren brought a first victory, in 2003, and close calls with the championship in 2003 and 2005, before a call up to Ferrari to replace legendary Michael Schumacher produced the highest accolade of all – the world title, at the first time of asking with the red squad.
Following two years out of the sport, Kimi made an impressive return in 2012, winning a brace of races with Lotus before heading back to Maranello. In 2019, the Espoo native returned to the team that gave him his debut, now under the banner of Alfa Romeo Racing, to race alongside rookie Antonio Giovinazzi. At age 39, the Finn brings heaps of experience to the table as Alfa Romeo Racing aims to move up the standings.
Kimi’s status as a fan-favourite, however, owes to more than just on-track prowess. Kimi’s laid-back, speak-your-mind attitude and timeless one-liners have made him one of the most beloved drivers on the grid.
Kimi’s talent may be a huge asset to the team, but don’t stress him too much about it. Just leave him alone – he knows what he’s doing.