Just ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Kimi was dragged into a lengthy (by Kimi standards) interview by F1.com! And a good one:
Q: Kimi, Ferrari has changed significantly since 2014. What is the biggest change?
Kimi Raikkonen: I think the team is working well together now. Some people have left and there is a new team boss and now the atmosphere and the way people are working together is much better.
Q: Ferrari’s performance is clearly running north, but at the moment you seem to be mainly fighting for P3 in races. When will that change?
KR: I expect us to get stronger in the course of the season. Yes, we are not happy about where we are right now as we want to challenge for wins, but we have to be realistic when looking of where we finished last year. We have made a good step forward and now as a team are we have to work in the same direction – then I am sure that we get where we want to be. Hopefully in the near future?
Q: Will you still be in F1 racing when Ferrari return to being the benchmark? Your contract runs out at the end of the season…
KR: That is up to the team to decide. They have an option on my services – so go and ask them!
Q: But you also have to like it, don’t you?
KR: (laughs) I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t like it!
Q: What’s still motivates Kimi Raikkonen, the driver? When you took your rallying sabbatical you were through with F1 racing…
KR: Things can change! I want to do well here. That is the main reason why I am still around.
Q: In Malaysia Ferrari caught Mercedes out with a smarter strategy. Will that prove to be your main weapon against them or can you close the gap?
KR: A smart strategy can help, of course. You can gain or lose positions depending on your strategy – but it is not our aim to do it that way. We want to improve our situation as a whole: improve our speed to challenge Mercedes in every single race. Right now we are pretty close to them in the race – not in qualifying, but in the race. We know now where we have to improve and we are working on that.
KR: No different to any other team mate!
Q: The two of you together in the same team – that sounded like a match made in heaven. Is that how it is in reality?
KR: I think we are a good pair – leave heaven out of it! (laughs) We can talk things over, and that is a lot. We both want to put the team in a position to improve.
Q: Is your situation, working together in the same team, helping you to bond more privately?
KR: Not really, no more than before. We just work in the same team – and it is easy together. We talk easily together.
Q: Does it help that neither of you is overly political?
KR: I would say so, yes. The good thing is that if there is something (that comes up) we can talk to each other – we can talk to each other directly and not have to use mediators. But we don’t have any issues and I don’t expect us to have issues. But who can look into the future? Who knows?
Q: Sebastian has had the edge in terms of results so far. Why is he doing better than you?
KR: He has done better races. We had some issues in the first three races and obviously made some mistakes in qualifying, but that is part of the game, so no big deal.
Q: 2014 was a tricky year for you – does it feel much better now or are you beyond such emotions?
KR: The feeling in the team is much better, but the results are still not what we want. Yes, compared to last year finishing third or fourth is a step forward, but we want to win – win all the time. As a team we’ve done well so far, true. (We’ve got) the maximum that we could right now. But are we happy or satisfied? Not really. We want more. We are here to win – and yes – that is still pretty emotional.
Q: There is the saying that only fools are satisfied…
KR: …that is not completely true. If you had a good fight and pulled the maximum out, you are happy. First and foremost you have to be realistic. We have come a long way from last year – and yes, there are still many steps to make.
Q: If you could make one wish, what would that be?
KR: Some good races? Sounds boring, I know…
Q: Niki Lauda said to succeed in F1 racing you ‘have to be a b*st*rd’. Were you one, the year you won the championship?
KR: I have been the same all along. Maybe he felt that he had to be. Everybody feels differently – and he likes to talk…
KR: We are racing in the evening so the temperatures are lower, so no help in that respect. I think that we will race at the level where we realistically are.
Q: You have a little baby boy. What values do you want to give him for his journey through life?
KR: Life – that is a long time. Right now I hope that he is healthy and stays healthy – and that he grows into a happy little boy.
Q: How would you rate yourself as a dad?
KR: I don’t know. You’d have to ask his mum. But he is a calm baby – so we are doing something right!
| Source: formula1.com |
Here is the first ‘public’ photograph of Kimi Raikkonen with his son Robin, which Minttu revealed via her blog today. Isn’t it adorable?! Robin is just over 2 months old now.
“We are getting used to this grey Finnish winter, which surprised us all after a few lovely spring days. I think it is great to be here except the weather could be better. It is wonderful to see all the lovely people whom I miss so much when living abroad.
Robin’s first flight went great! I was so excited that I could not sleep the night before at all. He was smiling all the time before he fell asleep in his daddy’s arms.” – Minttu.
It is Friday – the day off for Kimi Räikkönen during the preseason testing – but, however, the Finnish star of Ferrari arrives to the paddock of Montmelo. You can read from his face he is in sunny mood and you can see everything is fine with the oldest driver of Formula One with 35 years of age.
Räikkönen arrives to have an interview with Turun Sanomat and he visited his fellow countrymen at Koiranen GP factory close to the circuit to see brand new Formula 4 cars of theirs, as well.
Exactly at the agreed time Nicoletta Baffoni, who is one Ferrari media serving people, leads Räikkönen to the interview at Ferrari motorhome. Let’s get down to the business.
Räikkönen became of a father of son Robin at January 27th.
While making an interview with Kimi in the autumn in Belgium, I asked, how it felt for him to become a father soon. Kimi sighed, he believed it won’t make his world go upside down.
How is it now? Has his world gone upside down?
“Well, it is such a new thing, that I have not been able to assimilate it fully, yet. Buy it is the greatest thing, and I presume there will be a lot more items for big joy to come. Of course, obviously, everything is brand new, and I have not been able to spend too much time at home, while we have been testing and working at the factory.”
“The main thing is, the boy is healthy, and the mother is healthy. The baby is still such a little, but for me it is the finest thing in the world, and I am so happy everything has gone so well.”
How different does it feel to race, while you are now a man with a bigger family?
“Well, we have not been racing so far,” Raikkonen corrects with a broad smile, “But, for sure, it will change quite a lot.”
While Kimi’s brother Rami got his first son, their father Matti Räikkönen brought a small GO Kart car to the hospital as a gift. Now there is not anymore grandpa Räikkönen bringing gifts.
“But there is already a mini-size crossbike to the boy. Antti Pyrhönen, the team of boss of our Motocross team, sent me a picture immediately, what kind of bike they have got for the boy,” smiled Raikkonen, who himself started his driving career witt small crossbikes.
Räikkönen owns a motocross team IceOne Husqvarna Factory Team and they started their season with a double win in MXGP class of the world championship series.
The sons of the Finnish racing drivers have become racing drivers, as well. It looks like Räikkönen is not able to avoid such a tradition to go on?
“I do not have anything against what the boy wants to do. He can decide that himself, what he likes the most. Obviously, we are not going to push him to any direction. I just hope, he would not end up here in the paddock – well, let him be in the paddock to see the race as time goes by, but not in the way, I would need to come back here myself to help him as racing driver.”
“The time will tell, what it will be for him. As long as he is happy, and is doing what he wants, it is the main thing for us,” Räikkönen says.
Räikkönen has a contract with Ferrari for this year and the team has an option for him for 2016. Have you ever been thinking, what you will do then, while Formula One is over for good for you?
“Most likely I will just be with the family. I do not have much more in my mind. Actually I have not been thinking of it, but I think, it is enough for me.”
Could you leave all the driving just like that at once?
“For sure, I can do that, I do not have any huge inch to carry on this for long. It is not my lfe. My life at home is just a normal life. I do this as my job, I like it a lot, but it is not such a thing, I could not leave behind me while I feel time is right.”
At Ferrari Räikkönen gets to the season with a remarkably better starting positions compared to the bad last year.
How about the atmosphere inside the team? Is it like you have with Lotus while you started there?
“For sure the things here at Ferrari are now much better compated to – let us say – last year. It makes things easier for all of us. What is better now, well, I would say it is the way how we do work together to the same direction.”
Is Sebastien Vettel the team mate you have liked the most during your career?
“For sure, he is the one that I get along ín the best way of them all. It is difficult to say more right now. We have not been working together too much so far, we have not been talking or sending sms too much. We have been together only a few days so far. While we start to go racing, it is different. But I can say, it is such a nice thing, he is here.”
How about after the first qualifying in Melbourne? Who ever is ahead of each other, does it affect to your mutual relationship?
“I do not believe that. Obviously, we try our very best to beat each other every time, but for us the main thing is to help the team up there, where it really belongs.”
“It is a strong fact I am rather in this team, although I would be second or tenth than to get higher position somewehere else. There will be the day to come, we will win again! I would not change to anywhere else.”
[ Source: ts.fi | Written by Heikki Kulta ]
| Source: minttuvirtanen.com | hs.fi |
Minttu’s official blog:
It is my pleasure to announce a new addition to my family. Our healthy baby boy was born last night in Switzerland, weighing 3,7 kg and height 51 cm. The proud new parents are also well and we are looking forward to this new chapter in our lives.
Congratulations to Kimi and Minttu! Baby Raikkonen was born on 27th January, just in time before daddy has to go back to work. We can’t wait to see the little snowflake!
Update on 01/02/2015
We have arrived safely home with our baby boy. It is difficult even to describe these feelings… happiness and love. The little man loves to smile, sleep and eat and mommy can’t stop staring at him. 5 day old Robin and the happy parents are overwhelmed by all the greetings from all of you so thank you so much! It means a lot.