When flight attendant Minttu Virtanen moved in with F1 star Kimi Räikkönen she had to adapt herself to the huge house and get used to the fact that in this cohabitation the moments together are rare and it requires a lot of planning. “I’m not leaving my job. It would feel weird to be totally dependent on someone.”
When flight attendant and a fitness model Minttu Virtanen, 27, was introduced to Kimi Räikkönen, 34, with a help of mutual friend last summer, the crush was immediate. It has been a fast-paced relationship; in November Minttu moved in with Kimi in Kaskisaari, Helsinki. The change of home was overwhelming and massive; Minttu lived in a 34m2 house before and in Kaskisaari there is +500m2. “In the beginning I was nervous about being alone in a big house. When I came home from work I checked every room that there is nobody there. I never thought that I would be the type of person who admires the scenery but I’ve noticed that how relaxing it’s just to sit and look at the sea”.
She has brought some new fresh little details to the decoration of the house but nothing massive. “The house was so beautifully decorated already and I’m not that keen on having a really decorated house. It doesn’t matter where I am as long as I have my loved ones close to me. With Kimi in this relationship I feel like I’m in the right place.”
The loneliness strikes when spending the night alone.
She had to get used to the big house as well as to the fact that the year is spent following the F1 calendar. Minttu gives credit to her employer FlyBe as they are really flexible what comes to his new life situation. “We follow and live with the F1 calendar and I try to arrange my timetables in a way that I could support Kimi as much as I can. At least for now the holiday requests have been taken with ease by my employer.”
With both of them going round the world all the time the long-distance relationship has become familiar quickly. The fact is that being together daily is not possible. They connect with each other a lot in the internet and with mobile phones. “In a long-distance relationship reciprocal understanding and trust are the most important things.” “When I’m working it’s easier to cope with it [not being with Kimi] when you have something else to think. But when I’m spending the nights alone at home the loneliness strikes and that makes me sad. At those moments I have to think about the future and comfort myself on the fact that this doesn’t continue like this forever. This is how it is now but one day it will change.”
Minttu admits that in less than a year a lot has happened but the routine life has stayed the same. “My life hasn’t turned upside down although there is some new and fun stuff. My life, job and friends are still here in Finland. I’m not going to give up my job or my independence just because of Kimi and his career taking him around the world. It would feel weird to be totally dependant on somebody, for me it’s important to do my own things.”
LIFE AND LIFE-LONG BAN FOR CANDY
“Own things” really are what Minttu is spending her time in. She has one career as a flight attendant but she also has another occupation, as a fitness model for Bealive. Sports are her passion and there could be a lot of opportunities for her in that category. Minttu has just started a personal training education and she’ll be a qualified personal trainer next fall. “I don’t know whether it could be my number one job but at least it would be something that I could do and go around the world. I also get some depth and education to my own training from it and I am going to design a training programme for Kimi too. He has already said that it’s OK.”
Minttu admits that his attitude towards racing drivers has changed through Kimi. “I understand them who say that driving a car around a track isn’t sport. I couldn’t belive that it’s so physically demanding before I saw the speed and the racing close-by. They need a great bodycontrol and fitness just to stay on the seat in those speeds let alone the blistering heat of some races. My understanding of the sport has changed totally and the I now have a huge respect towards the drivers.”
Minttu mostly enjoys the vigorous focus in her training. It’s something he often experience on the running track or in the gym where she follows a custom-made training programme. “I’ve never been on a diet or exercised just to look skinnier. I think it’s more healthier and eye-pleasing to have a muscular body.”
Kimi’s home in Switzerland has it’s own gym but in Helsinki the couple trains in a private gym close by the Kaskisaari home. “Exercising is self-evident and a intergral part of my life. It’s also essential for mental health. There are only a few things that give feeling like after training. If I don’t have the time to do sports it affects everything, I’m more tired, angry and I can’t eat that well.
What comes to the eating, Minttu has one weakness.
“We can’t have candy at home. I have no self-control over those!”
As a hostess in the home alone Minttu prepares quick meals like salads, chicken and vegetables. On those days when Kimi is at home, he cooks or they go out to eat sushi or a good-old stakes. “I like to keep the home organised and clean but I’m not a cook.”
LOVE FOR KIMI
They fell in love in summer 2013. Minttu has been seen on the paddock but otherwise the couple has lived off the headlines. “Kimi’s calmness made an impact on me. He has this wonderful habit of taking everybody in to account. His personality is full of beautiful characteristics.”
Being a superstar is something Minttu doesn’t noticed in Kimi’s presence. “The ordinariness of him is one of the things that made me fall in love with him. He is also funny as hell.”
In other news, our contributor Ville also reported that Finnish tabloid Seiska shamelessly spied on Kimi’s villa in Kaskisaari with a helicopter! All they noted was that there was a renovation going on on the patio and Kimi has a new car – a 200,000Euro Audi RS.
| Source: autosport.com |
Working as a driver manager with his son Steve, Robertson proved to be astute in both finding young talent and sealing deals that got them quickly in to F1.
Having helped push Button up the junior ranks to secure his debut with Williams in 2000, Robertson was even more impressive a year later in convincing Sauber – and the FIA – to allow Raikkonen to race in F1 despite only having competed in Formula Renault previously.
Although Button would eventually move on to different management, Robertson continued to look after Raikkonen’s career.
As well as managing drivers, Robertson, along with Raikkonen, also helped set up the successful Formula 3 team Double R Racing,
Button himself expressed his sadness at the passing of Robertson, who had been ill for some time.
“Very sad to hear that David Robertson who helped me reach my dream of racing in Formula 1 has passed away,” wrote Button on Twitter. “My thoughts are with his family.”
The KRS community are very saddened to hear this news and we would like to give our sincere condolences to Steve and his family, and of course Kimi. David, not just a manager for Kimi’s early career, was a father-like figure in Kimi’s life and he will be sorely missed. We’ve always been very grateful for David and Steve recognising Kimi’s talent early on, supporting him away from Finland in the UK races and then bringing him into Formula One. Below are a few features we would like to share to remember David. R.I.P.
Video: David Robertson speaking after Kimi wins the 2007 F1 driver’s championship at Brazil (@ 3:04mins)
How to manage a champion – exclusive with David Robertson
Q: David, you’ve come a long way with Kimi. How does it feel for the both of you to have finally won the title and trophy?
David Robertson: Well, the words that I have to describe this feeling seem, to Steve and I, to be really inadequate. Sheer ecstasy is the feeling and we are still smiling now. When you think that despite two mechanical failures he still did it – winning the most races and scoring the most fastest laps. It was so close in 2003, when he would have been the youngest driver ever and then in 2005, after more failures than I care to remember, he was to be thwarted again. It began to make you think that it was never meant to be, so to finally do it, in such a dramatic fashion against all the odds, was just unbelievable. As everyone knows, with reliability, he would already be three times a world champion!
Q: Kimi has said that nothing will change – that he will always stay the same. Nevertheless, it must be different now that he is champion and he doesn’t have to prove he is of title-winning material…
DR: I am sure that he feels like he says because that is the way that he is. What he says to you is what he means – there are no sides to the lad. But if it were a normal person I’d agree with you that they would feel like they have had a huge monkey taken off of their back.
Q: How did you and Kimi meet? What was it that convinced you that he had what it would take to become a great?
DR: We met when he was brought to our attention through that well known petrol head Peter Collins. Peter told us all about this kid who was in an inferior kart to the rest but was always there in the frame and that in the wet he was amazing. Steve and I then brought him over to test and he was awesome to say the least – he literally looked like he could make the car talk. I know that it sounds corny, but that is the truth. To Steve, he reminded him of the drivers that he had driven against like Schumacher and Hakkinen and he had the best car control that he had ever seen. From the moment that I first met him we took to him completely, hook, line and sinker. As a person, we trusted him and, if you like, he became one of the family, as we literally love him. To me he was like another son and to Steve like a brother. When we address cards to him, we tell him that it is from his English family and you know I like to feel that that is the way that he thinks of us. That’s not to say that his real parents were not 100 percent behind him, because without them he would not be here. They are amazing people too. With them too, what you see is what you get, there are no sides to them – they are the salt of the earth. They sacrificed a lot to enable their son to do what he always wanted to do.
Q: Kimi hasn’t made a wrong move in his career to date – every team he has joined has moved him on. How much does he get involved in these decisions? Or does he trust you completely to make them?
DR: He has a lot of respect for what we think and we make the decisions together. Of course it goes without saying that it was the right thing to do to go to Ferrari, after all, that is the team that all the drivers on the grid want to go to at some point in their career.
Q: But with several key people leaving after Michael Schumacher’s retirement, joining Ferrari was a bit of a gamble. You must have believed that even with those uncertainties, Kimi would enjoy a better 2007 with the Italian team than if he had stayed at McLaren or headed to Renault…
DR: Yes, contrary to what other people thought, we thought that the team had more strength in depth than that. The one person that we thought was critical to the move was the man himself – Jean Todt. I have never known anyone that works as hard as he does. If he was not going to be there, then it would have been a different story. Like any great leader, though, I have found that his work ethic has been contagious and that all of the people that are there are the same and they follow their leader. The passion there is second to none. Trust me, there is no other single reason why Ferrari are the team that they are, than the passion that lies in their very core and spreads to every man that works in their factories. Italy is a very proud nation and they are behind their team and their drivers.
Q: A driver dubbed the ‘Iceman’ and a team that is known for its big emotions – how could that combination possibly work?
DR: You are right, Kimi is not one for wearing his heart on his sleeve and this was one of the things that attracted Ferrari to him. They thought that Kimi was different. After all, he was Kimi and not Michael. That, though, has not made any difference and the team are already very fond of him because he never moans, never makes excuses and just gets on with the job. He sometimes makes mistakes himself and therefore never sees fit to blame anyone in the team for their mistakes either. I once remember Ron (Dennis) said to Kimi, ‘hey, we are moving this guy from the race team as he is the one that caused the finger problem’. Kimi immediately said to him that he was not to touch any of his team, as they never did it deliberately and that everyone makes mistakes so please leave them alone. That is Kimi and that is why so many still love him at McLaren – and why they do now at Ferrari.
Q: Kimi is world champion and Ferrari the constructors’ champion, so everybody must be on cloud nine. Leaving the celebrations to one side, how was the year as a whole? When Kimi joined, some argued that with the team so focused on Schumacher, any successor would have a hard time…
DR: I think that as far as the press are concerned they run away with their own views and they are normally a long way from the truth. The fact is that of course Michael was important to Ferrari but so were so many other people, if you like they were the unsung heroes. Schumacher was a great driver, but Ferrari are a great team. Some people got carried away with the importance of a few individuals and forgot that it was the team, not that jack built, but that Jean Todt built and that Michael was a part of that team and not the sole reason as to why it did well. The team were unbelievable with Kimi when he started. They made every effort to make him feel at home and helped him through the difficulties that he had with the new tyres and his new crew.
Q: Looking back at that crucial race in Brazil, how was Kimi emotionally in those days. Did you speak to him about it?
DR: There is no doubt that, as you would expect, he was over the moon he had managed to pull it off. We were so proud of him during the post-race interviews. You could not have written it any better than the way that he handled it, it was word perfect. The good news is that with Kimi, you knew that he meant every word of it. That is why the team were so happy, because they are now aware of him and understand that he never just pays lip service – it was absolutely straight from the heart.
Q: McLaren’s appeal of the Brazilian result left the championship open for almost four weeks. How did he cope during that period?
DR: Well when you know Kimi, you know that he has this very unique philosophy and that is that he never worries about anything that he can not change and that is another of his great strengths. I remember reading a book about how to stop worrying and start living and I thought after I had known him for a very short time that he could have written that book himself. It just comes naturally to him.
Q: Kimi – and his alias James Hunt – occasionally enjoy some wild times. How much do you try to control that? Do you trust that as a professional he knows the limits?
DR: Once again, thanks to the press, things get quoted wrongly and then a lifestyle emerges that is, to say the least, a little way from the truth. The fact is, he is a young man and does like a party. But never, and I mean never, has he let it interfere with the job that he does. He, like the pro that he is, always makes sure that he is in good condition to deliver at testing and during race weekends. I have never had to go to him – we trust him totally. When he competed in that race over the winter on the snowmobiles, he used the alias of James Hunt to get rid of the press, but I’m sure that if he does that this year he will get mobbed.
Sunday, July 21, 2013 – the Belgian National Day – saw the 8th edition of the ‘Everts & Friends Charity Race’, a unique motocross and cyclocross event for charity, take place on the circuit of Horensbergdam in Genk.
Kimi Räikkönen, former Formula 1 World Champion (2007) and currently third in the F1 World Championship standings, was the special guest at this years event. Räikkönen, who almost won the German F1 Grand Prix last weekend is excited to make the event but even more excited is Stefan Everts: “It is a unique opportunity for the spectators to meet Kimi in person. Moreover, he will be on a dirt bike and will join our ‘Cyclo MX Race’ and team up with a Belgian cyclo-cross rider. He will also join our signing session – this is truly unique and a first for our country.” In preparation for ‘Everts & Friends’ event Räikkönen, who owns the Ice One Racing MX Team, had put in a few days of training in Finland with our ten times world champion.
@KimiFanPage Kimi: ”In (my) childhood I loved motocross. It is my passion but I treat it only as a hobby.” @KimiFanPage Kimi: ”Of course this sport is quite similar to the Formula 1 but motocross cannot be underestimated. This is one of the most complex…technical kinds of sports in which I tried my hand. It’s also one of the most interesting, but the contest was charitable in nature”. @KimiFanPage Kimi: ”All the technical kinds of sports can be dangerous. But today I went calmly and tried not to do anything stupid.”
Kimi Räikkönen, who follows motocross MX1 and MX2 class world championship races in Finland, Hyvinkää, got to see that being an F1 star doesn’t always grant you special treatment. Räikkönen was following his own motocrossteam Ice1Racing’s performances.
Räikkönen, who arrived at the event around noon, was relaxed in the racing area. He had refreshments in the pit garage but also took the time to follow the actual race from the stand. At the same time Räikkönen got to see that being a F1 star doesn’t always grant special treatment.
When Räikkönen tried to get in the VIP premises he was sent away from the gate because he didn’t have the VIP pass hanging around his neck.
“Kimi didn’t have the pass, so I told him that he has no business to go inside. Here we look at the pass, not at the face,” said the doorman who turned back Räikkönen.
According to him Räikkönen wasn’t offended over it, he went back to get the required pass like a good boy.
“Kimi wasn’t offended by that. When he came back with the VIP pass I wished him a good race. I guess that Kimi also wants to be treated in the same way as others are treated,” the doorman speculated.
“But the other watchers who sat nearby got a bit offended and came to say to me “don’t you know who you didn’t let in”,” he laughed.
Räikkönen didn’t want to comment on his own F1 plans. Vacating Räikkönen only wanted to concentrate on the actual motocross event.
In Räikkönen’s entourage was among others his mother Paula, brother Rami and PR manager Riku Kuvaja.
The race in Hyvinkää was also popular among regular watchers. According to the organizers about 8000 people came to watch the race.