Kimi Raikkonen met the media at the Circuit of Americas this morning as usual on Thursdays and said he was looking forward to the next few days.
“Hopefully we can have a nice clean weekend, starting with getting everything sorted in practice and then be as strong as possible,” said the Ferrari man. Looking much further ahead, the Finn was asked what he expected from next year’s car. “I have a hundred percent trust in the people who run the team and build the cars,” he began. “I am sure we can have a good package: will it be good enough? Only time will tell. We have a lot of work to do and we have learned a lot from this year. We don’t expect to suddenly jump to the front and be winning the races, but we can make a big leap and be up there fighting. Until we put it on track and do those first laps at the first test we won’t know. We know where the issues are and our people are smart enough to fix them. According to the rules, there are limits to what we can do but we will improve.”
There is no hiding the fact this has been a tough year for Raikkonen, but it has not dented his confidence. “For sure I made a hundred percent the right decision to return to Ferrari,” he maintained. “The results have not been the ones I wanted or the team wanted, but that’s how it goes. We have made progress from where we started, but it’s not easy to get things exactly as you want. But I am happy to be here. I’d rather be with Ferrari than with any other team. So I’m sure I made the right decision coming here.” Asked to elaborate on the problems he has encountered in 2014, Kimi did not want to go into too many details: “I’ve been suffering with lots of small things, but the front end has not been as good as I wanted and that’s not easy to fix. It’s better, but it’s taken a bit too long.”
The final question concerned the Finn’s views on the double points on offer at the final round and, as usual, Kimi’s view was very straightforward. “That’s how the rules are now and if we like it or not, it makes no difference as we drivers do not decide the rules,” concluded the Finn. “Obviously, whoever has the most points at the end of the year, whether he has won ten races or one race wil won and I’m sure whoever it is will deserve it.”
| Source: ferrari.com | autosport.com |
Raikkonen has no regrets
Kimi Raikkonen says he has no regrets about his return to Ferrari despite his frustrating 2014 campaign so far.
Raikkonen’s switch to Maranello from Lotus this year was highly anticipated, but the rivalry between the Finn and team-mate Fernando Alonso has been lopsided. Raikkonen has beaten Alonso on track just once in races they have both finished but the Finn says he is happy with his choice.
“I’m sure I made 100% the right decision,” Raikkonen said. “Obviously the results haven’t been what I want or what the team wants but that’s how it goes. We have improved from where we started and there’s been some better moments [recently] but it’s not easy to fix some issues and get things exactly as you want.
“Then you end up having a small thing here, a small thing there, and paying a big price for it. I’m happy to be here. If I’m finishing out of first place I would rather be in a Ferrari than any other team so I’m pretty sure I made the right decision.”
Recent press reports in Austria quoted Gerhard Berger as saying Ferrari should keep Alonso – who is set to leave the team – and fire Raikkonen again, a reference to the 2009 split which led to his sabbatical from the sport.
When asked about the reports, Raikkonen said: “We will see if he’s right or wrong!”
Part of Raikkonen’s problem has been his struggle to match his driving style with the Ferrari F14 T, as he prefers a responsive front end in his car. Though he thinks this should have taken longer to resolve than it has Raikkonen does not want to dwell on the negatives of 2014.
“I think I’ve been suffering from many small things but the front end hasn’t been as good as I want thing. It’s not easy to fix those things. Things are getting a bit better but it’s too late, it shouldn’t take this long but this time it has. It’s just the small things, putting them together. I have no interest in telling what is good, what is not, it’s just been certain things.”
| Source: espn.co.uk |
Kimi: I must be crazy then!
Felipe Massa reckons Kimi Raikkonen’s struggles compared to Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso this season are more psychological than anything to do with the set-up of the Finn’s Formula 1 car.
Williams racer Massa, whom Raikkonen replaced at Ferrari this season, reckons the 2007 world champion’s ongoing difficulties have more to do with the mental challenge of being Alonso’s team-mate.
“It is not easy to be his [Alonso's] team-mate, and for sure the problem Kimi is having [this year] is in his head,” Massa said.
“It’s very difficult [to be his team-mate], because first of all he [Alonso] is an amazing driver; his talent is really complete.
“He’s one of the quickest drivers, but also one of the most consistent drivers, one of the more aggressive – he has everything. He is a top driver.”
Kimi responded to Finnish broadcaster MTV3: “Ah! I guess I’m losing my mind and going crazy!”
| Source: eurosport.com |
Ferrari drivers go eco
Hardly surprising that Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, were given an enthusiastic welcome by the young students that Shell invited along to a service station on Ben White Boulevard, a few miles from the Circuit of Americas, which hosts this weekend’s United States Grand Prix.
The meeting took place as part of the Shell Eco Marathon project, whose main objective is to seek out alternative and renewable energy sources that can be used to reduce fuel consumption. In addition, the project is a useful training tool for the students who have to build a concept car that makes the most of aerodynamics and materials, so as to reduce the impact on the environment.
Both Ferrari drivers took a turn at the wheel of two concept cars on a track laid out around the service station. Before getting in the cars, Fernando and Kimi spoke with the youngsters to learn more about these special cars and took tips relating to the best driving style to adopt to get the highest level of efficiency out of them, in terms of fuel consumption.
After driving the cars, the two drivers met some Shell guests and the technical staff that follow the cars on the Eco Marathon. It was a day the talented American youngsters will no doubt remember for a long time.
| Source: ferrari.com |
Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen was invited, by the team’s logistics sponsor UPS, to the huge Worldport air hub at Louisville International Airport.
The 2007 F1 World Champion was given access to the flight simulator of a 757 Boeing aircraft used by UPS to deliver worldwide. Raikkonen also enjoyed a remote control Ferrari car race with UPS workers inside the facility.
Speaking about the flight simulator, Kimi said: “It was really interesting. Even if I’m used to very different types of simulator, I have to admit that an aircraft cockpit is particularly interesting, with maybe even more controls than we have in our cockpit.”
While he was there, the Iceman was able to lend a helping hand to UPS workers where they were able to see his hand-eye coordination at the UPS Worldport Smalls Sort.
| Written by: KRS | quotes from ferrari.com | images from ups, insideferrari |
Seven is quite a special number and not just because it’s Kimi’s racing number (ok, maybe he makes it cooler than it already is). In Biblical terms and eschatology (the study of the end of times), seven has a special symbolic significance.
Also in numerology, seven’s description is quite symmetrical with Kimi’s personality, although not entirely (but that makes Kimi unique). 7’s are secretive, mysterious, stand-offish, intuitive and introspective. An unworldly attitude means most 7’s need to be ‘protected’, and that’s a coincidence when you read about the design behind Kimi’s helmet. His mark is based on the rune Algiz which means ‘protection’. A quick googling of the number seven will enlighten you (unless you’re not impressed by superstitious theories), I won’t blab on about it here but get to the point of this post:
So today is the 7th anniversary of Kimi’s F1 world championship victory so it is extra special. Seven years ago on 21st October 2007, Kimi became one of the very few drivers to win the title on their debut season with Ferrari, beating McLaren rivals Hamilton and Alonso by a single point in the final race at Brazil. It was an unforgettable season for the fans and the most special day in Raikkonen’s career.
Maailmanmestari, Finnish tongue for The World Champion, has given us 12 seasons in Formula 1, but thankfully for us fans we have more to look forward to next year and possibly beyond. This season is well and truly the most dismal of Raikkonen’s career but then again… so is the car! We believe he hasn’t lost talent or speed and he will be back! #ForzaKimi #Kimi7 #KeepFlyingKimi etc etc… all the supportive hashtags you deem relevant.
Here’s a nicely combined round-up of Kimi’s F1 career achievements to date (‘The Iceman Profile’ kindly provided by @SportExtraHD)
To remember just why we love Kimi Raikkonen (and mostly to cheer you guys up during our frustrating season) revisit the entire Brazil GP 2007 weekend in pictures here! And here are videos below – be warned of imminent nostalgia overload! (more…)
Kimi Raikkonen: Laidback Lada driver to reluctant Ferrari star
“What do you call a Lada driver with a speeding ticket? A liar.”
Kimi Raikkonen might not have heard that old joke about the much-maligned car, an icon of the Soviet era, but it might give him a chuckle.
“I had a Russian Lada,” the Formula One star revealed as he took CNN’s The Circuit for a spin in a flashy sports car provided by his team Ferrari.
“I got it from a friend of ours. We changed the engine. It was perfect for us — free of charge and a very robust car.
“It was red but we painted it black. It never broke down.”
The Finn now drives one of the world’s fastest vehicles on the F1 racetrack — which he definitely wouldn’t be allowed to paint black — but the down-to-earth approach of his first car beautifully sums up his underlying normality.
The man they call the “Iceman” is Formula One’s most reluctant star.
The 34-year-old is known for his succinct, cool answers when facing the media. And while he doesn’t say much, he often says what he thinks.
Perhaps his most famous admission came in 2006 when he explained he missed the presentation for the retiring Michael Schumacher, the man he was going to replace at Ferrari the following year, because he was in the bathroom — or words to that effect.
Then there are the off-track headlines, like the time he was filmed falling off a boat during a party.
Raikkonen’s pithy comments and antics have made him a cult icon among F1 fans but he insists he would rather stay out of the spotlight.
“It’d be perfect to lead a normal life where nobody notices you,” he tells CNN. “But obviously you cannot have both.
“Racing and driving is the main thing but there’s a lot of other stuff that comes with it.
“I’ve been long enough in the business to know that it’s a big part of it. For me, it’s not much fun.
“I’m not a big fan of going places and showing off, I’d rather do my own things. I never try to hide it because it is how it is.”
Unlike many other drivers on the grid, Raikkonen is also refreshingly honest about his childhood ambitions while growing up in the city of Espoo.
“I wouldn’t say I wanted to become a Formula One driver straight away,” he explains.
“I actually started out with motocross when I was a small boy and then go-karts. It was good fun and you start wanting more.
“But I still didn’t believe that I would even make it to F1 because we didn’t have the money.
“I just thought I’d do karts for as long as possible and then do something else.”
That something else was two titles in the British Formula Renault Championship.
After just 23 races, Raikkonen was signed up by Sauber and fast-tracked into F1 for the 2001 season.
He won his first grand prix with McLaren in 2003 and his first and only world title with Ferrari in 2007 before the Italian team effectively paid up the rest of his salary to bring in Fernando Alonso for the 2010 season.
Officially retired from F1, Raikkonen flexed his driving muscles in the World Rally Championships and got behind the wheel for two NASCAR races.
His team radio in the U.S. series endeared him to new fans with such quotable outbursts as: “I don’t understand how this car can be so hot. My ass is even burning in here.”
“I really enjoy the whole NASCAR thing,” Raikkonen recalls. “It’s just completely different and fun. It was a good experience.
“Hopefully I can do more (races) some day. I’ve said I’d like to do some more rallies in the future.”
For now, F1’s reluctant star is focused on finishing his second spell in the sport with Ferrari, having returned to Maranello after two seasons with Lotus in which he re-established himself on the grid despite the team’s financial problems.
With two wins and 15 podiums he became hot property, and replaced Felipe Massa at the home of the “Prancing Horse.”
The 34-year-old, who has struggled with an under-performing car this season, says he plans to finish his career with the Italian marque but is giving nothing away on when exactly that might be.
Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel is expected to sign for Ferrari next year, with Alonso tipped to return to McLaren.
“I have a contract for next year and probably for one more year,” Raikkonen says. “But I’m not a young guy anymore.
“I want to do something more with my life than just Formula One. I will finish my career in Ferrari.
“I never lost the passion. I will stop the day when I feel I don’t enjoy it anymore.”
A new chapter is about to begin for Raikkonen in the near future when his girlfriend Minttu Virtanen gives birth to their first child.
“The biggest challenge will be with a family,” he says. “That will take a lot of time and effort.”
Asked if he would encourage his child to follow him into motor racing, he gives a typically direct and definitive “No!”
Raikkonen might not be keen on small talk but he is looking forward to discussing fatherhood with Vettel, his closest friend in F1, who became a father to a baby daughter earlier this year.
“The guy I have most to do with outside of racing is Vettel,” he says. “The rest I don’t really see as friends, I race against them.
“He’s just a normal guy and it’s an easy relationship.”
On the subject of sharing baby tips with the German, Raikkonen adds: “Yes, he has more experience…”
He might be one of F1’s most-enigmatic and best-loved stars, and still among the highest earners, but in many ways he has stayed true to his roots.
“I have normal cars,” he explains. “Maybe when I was young I was a bit more like, ‘This nice car, I want to have this and drive this.’
“Not anymore. I drive normal cars without people noticing me, so it makes my life easy.”
Dare we suggest, Raikkonen might have rewound time by swapping a Ferrari for a beat-up Lada?
[ Source: cnn.com | Interview by Sarah Holt and Amanda Davies ]