Top Gear Magazine Interview Kimi
How old were you when you first became interested in cars / speed / racing?
Kimi Raikkonen: Right
from when I was very little, I was interested in anything that had an
engine. If I had not become a driver, I would certainly have been a
Growing up, which drivers do you remember watching and who were you impressed by?
never had a hero or an idol. My friends tell me I should have raced in
the Seventies when maybe Formula 1 was less formal and I would
definitely liked to have known James Hunt.
When did you think you might become pretty good yourself and why?
not for me to say. I always wanted to be a racing driver and I gave it
everything I had to do that. From then on, it’s my results that speak
Wouldn’t it make sense if all testing was banned?
More time for snowmobiling, less expensive for the teams and still the
same for everybody!
KR: No, I’d be asked to spend more time on
the simulator! But joking aside, I think the current situation is
pretty well balanced. We don’t test as much as we used to a few years
back and we work more efficiently.
But that’s unlikely, so what do you find most useful about testing, personally?
KR: I just love driving a Formula 1 car, which means I even like testing.
you’re testing and racing, how aware are you of the part you play in
helping develop new technologies, like Shell V-Power, for example?
a sport as finely honed as Formula 1, where the difference between
first and last is measured in tenths of a second, you have to push to
the limits in terms of car development, in all areas. As far as the
engine is concerned, we are currently in a particularly special stage,
where development on certain components is frozen for a few years. This
means we can have a fuel or an engine oil that gives us a few
horsepower more, a gearbox oil that improves lubrication and makes such
an important component more reliable and that is a really vital point.
What was your most satisfying Grand Prix win ever?
to say as all the wins are great. Of course, the first one and the one
in Interlagos last year which meant I was world champion will always
stay with me.
What were your main reasons for joining Ferrari from McLaren?
a desire to change after so many years with the same team. I felt
comfortable at McLaren, just as I feel comfortable at Ferrari. The two
teams are different because of their different character, but both
share a common desire to get the very best results.
Ferrari just another team for you or does the immense history and list
of its previous great drivers ever cross your mind? Does Ferrari feel
different in this way?
KR: There is definitely a special
atmosphere at Maranello and you can feel the special appeal of a marque
that is part of racing history. It’s nice and I’m proud to be part of
Many fans don’t understand how much the
driver does during a race. Can you talk us through some of the things
you have to do while racing – brake adjustments, driving around
KR: That’s true, from the outside it is difficult
to understand all the details of what happens on track. First and
foremost there is so much work that one does along with the engineers
when the car is in the garage: defining the set up, the day’s work
Then, when you are sitting in the cockpit, there
are so many parameters you can control: the brake balance, some engine
and electrical parameters, the gearbox. Then there are unexpected
situations such as the arrival of the safety car and specific moments
that require you to go through complex programmes such as the start.
This year, with the introduction of a standard electronic control unit,
there are slightly less things to do, but next year, new parameters
will come into play, such as the electronic control of the flap on the
front wing and the boost switches linked to the energy accumulated
through the KERS system.
What makes a great driver, in your view?
the end what matters are the result, but one has to take into account
that in the current Formula 1, the car remains the dominant factor.
Without a competitive car, you can’t win, no matter how talented you
What’s the best thing about your job?
KR: Driving and racing to win – there’s nothing else.
And the worst?
KR: Speaking in public? Honestly, it’s not a strong point of mine, but I know it’s part of my job and I have to accept it as such.
(Find the images used with this article over on this Italian site here)
And we are most grateful for that Kimi! But we’re even more happy when you race, ‘driving to win’. So stay the way you are.
I just want to mention something that has been infuriating me the past week. When I posted news from Finnish source MTV3,
regarding Kimi claiming that he wasn’t driving flat out as he usually
would in the remaining few races of the season, suddenly the rest of
the media took that news and turned it into headlines reading "Raikkonen lacked motivation" or "Kimi admits he lost interest in F1" and etc.
How bloody annoying, trying to justify their rubbish speculations by
saying he’s ‘admitted’ to them. Er, NO. he never lost motivation, he
never lost interest. Stop twisting Kimi’s words you bastards! He was
being honest he said that racing for third place or not being allowed
to race isn’t interesting, and therefore he wasn’t pushing as hard as
he usually would. Why do you think he took 10 fastest laps of the
season and suddenly stopped doing that when he became part of Massa’s
team support? Go and watch China and Brazil again, you idiots. He had
to drive slower to help Massa. Obviously, he isn’t going to fake it and
say "Oh yeah, that was the best time of my life, helping my teammate, I
can’t wait to do it again!". I never expect the media to show any
respect to the ‘losers’ but I just had to get this off my chest. The
only thing Kimi doesn’t show interest in is when talking to you media
maniac people! Hahahaha!