Off-track

Minttu Virtanen on life with Kimi

Minna-Mari "Minttu" Virtanen

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.”

rsz_minttufm14When 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

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“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.”

(Source: menaiset.fi, translation courtesy of KRS Ville, english article)

 

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.

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Video: Kimi trying out the LaFerrari

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If you see a Ferrari LaFerrari driven by none other than a talented F1 driver such as Kimi Raikkonen, this is something that you wouldn’t expect to see! After a few laps around track Kimi tried to play sideways with the 963hp of the LaFerrari but he ended into a massive spin out off the track! That’s not all because for the first time you see also brake disks of the LaFerrari glowing and the exhaust spitting big flames!


Is Raikkonen a changed man?

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| Source: thejudge13.com |

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Dark clouds form over Maranello

Whenever there is a state of all being well, one should take the opportunity to enjoy and take in the positive vibe that is all around before, inevitably, the harsh reality of life kicks in and the moment is lost. Perhaps this where the saying comes from, Nothing lasts forever, so live for the moment!

In light of the comments made last week by a certain Brazilian who has moved to Williams for 2014, it would seem the moment where all was well has passed for Fernando Alonso. Whilst he hardly spent any time in Maranello on the sim tirelessly plugging away learning new tracks, he actually did just this but in his home in Oviedo, Spain, instead.

In years gone by where the Spaniard was clearly the undisputed no.1 there was no need to embrace the Ferrari family sentiment as he was unchallenged and for all intents and purposes, untouchable. The man who twice had come within a whisker of claiming the title for the Scuderia, only for a team error to cost him in 2010 and lady luck to intervene in 2012 – (although I know there will be a few who disagree with the 2012 assessment).

Why all this matters I hear you ask? Kimi is hardly known for being the ‘friendly’ sort of team player who will ask ‘How high?’ every time the team says ‘Jump.’ TheJudge13 sources say that the Kimi that has returned is almost unrecognisable from the Kimi that left in 2009. Putting the hard hours into his simulator work both days of the weekend is a far cry from what would be expected normally from the Finn.

Furthermore, he spent Wednesday at the factory meeting up with ‘old friends’ and trying to persuade Luca to let him test the LaFerrari on the Fiorano track, only stopped in this pursuit by the fading light. Kimi had another seat fitting as he was unhappy with his previous ride position, demonstrating the perfectionist the Finn has become.

Not being reported elsewhere, but this is the third time Kimi has been to Marnello since resigning for the red team. Reportedly, he is welcomed back like a long lost son at every visit. If this is the case, then wouldn’t that now make Alonso the prodigal son?

Any avid football fans will remember how Jose Mourinho returned to Chelsea during his stint with Inter Milan. That day he proved that actions do genuinely speak louder than words, seeking the custard cream distributor and munching away. He showed he still know that place like the back of his hand, exactly as Kimi is doing right now in Maranello.

So the man who journalists would have you believe ‘doesn’t do politics’ is putting in the hard hours to, once again, be the favoured one within the Ferrari family. No war of words is required with Alonso, leaving his Samurai quotes null and void. Kimi is not wasting his energy with multiple blows, just a few sharp ones – which is hurting Alonso. Dark clouds are forming over Maranello as the war begins.

The Taming of Kimi Räikkönen

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As the gavel wielding one has written a few paragraphs north from here, Kimi 2.0 has become quite a perfectionist. And although he is still capable of pulling memorable moments, like the “leave me alone” comment over team radio, he’s a far cry from the wild boy, who was filmed falling off a boat in a drunken stupor. He was even caught a few times on camera actually talking to journalists last year.

Now, those of a naive disposition will conclude that Kimi has matured over the years, but they are deluding themselves. Men are and always will be oversized children. If you want to test the theory, lock several guys in a room with a model train set or a scalextric kit. The only difference to a group of small boys will be, that men will get hogwashly bladdered in the process as they’ll drink beer instead of soda. Give them BMX bikes in the summer or sleighs and a hill in the winter and you’ll witness an impromptu session of “jackass”.

What you just saw flying out of the window was the maturity theory. The only one, who can make a grown male of the species resemble something like a responsible adult is a woman, usually referred to as “the right one”, which means that not every woman has that effect on a man. Which would mean that Jenni Dahlman, former miss Scandinavia and wife to Kimi Räikkönen for eight years was not the one to achieve that.

The one, who seems to have pulled off the miracle goes by the name Minttu Virtanen and if the Finnish yellow press is to be believed she did not only tame Kimi into Kimi 2.0, she’s also working on a completely new one. Since the pair is one of the main interest of the Finnish rags, they are usually well informed about them and if that latest bit of news proves correct, Kimi will join Sebastian Vettel, Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado in the club of those, who in recent years submitted their genetic make-up for long-time storage.

Maybe Bernie should invest in a Kindergarten, rather than the Nürburgring.

Follow thejudge13 on Twitter!

So what do you think? Despite winning the championship in his debut season for the Scuderia, the team felt Kimi wasn’t the true leader they hoped for after Schumacher’s departure – I recall Domenicali saying this after Kimi left F1. Has Kimi realised that in order to be at the true height of success at Ferrari he must put in the extra hours and genuine desire to beat Alonso both on and off the track? I must admit myself, being a fan for over 10 years, that it has been a little out of character for Kimi to be so frequently present at the headquarters.

But I don’t think it’s the influence of a new woman – Kimi loves racing since he was a kid (you’ve only got to watch Prelude to see why) and how he left Ferrari hurt him but he still has huge respect for those guys who work hard inside the team. Sure, he may be like a sick puppy in love right now, but it has nothing to do with his new mentality – leaving F1 did Kimi a world of good and he had no woman by his side during that time except his mother. He came back to Formula 1 as an improved man two years ago already. At Lotus we saw Kimi stand up for himself over the unpaid salary. Now we are seeing Kimi making right what he feels was missing from his previous term at Ferrari. Afterall, even athletes must learn from their mistakes? Tell us your thoughts!


Wrangler photoshoot with Harley-Heaven

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Not only has Kimi been busy in Maranello, he has other sponsor duties – here is his latest behind-the-scenes photoshoot with Harley-Heaven motorcycles, as part of his ambassador role for the Wrangler-Europe franchise.

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Kimi Räikkönen has been named the face of Wrangler’s fall Denim Performance line — the first male spokesperson for Wrangler Europe.

It is a premiere, at least for Europe. For the first time, Wrangler has donned itself a spokesperson in Europe. For the launch this spring of Denim Spa for women, the jeans manufacturer tapped Lizzy Jagger. For fall 2013 and the launch of Denim Performance, the brand will be represented by Kimi Räikkönen.

The choice is a natural — a Formula 1 driver representing a new line that combines fashion and functionality, outerwear in waterproof or breathable technical fabrics, storage pockets for phone, passport, etc. And Kimi Räikkönen from Finland, in his early thirties, is back in Formula One racing, where he finished third in the 2012 championship. For Wrangler, it is also especially obvious that Northern Europe is the most important region for its business. Germany is by far its largest market, followed by France and the United Kingdom.

Why Kimi Raikkonen for Wrangler Denim Performance?
Formula One is the definition of high performance. Only 20 guys in the world race these cars. Kimi Raikkonen is a champion racer, one of the most consistent performers on the circuit, and a sublime driver. His world is adrenaline and personal skill underpinned by genius technology. Wrangler is the adrenaline-fuelled jeans brand, with an exceptional denim heritage built on innovation, while Denim Performance blends technology with a stylish aesthetic. Kimi Raikkonen for Wrangler Denim Performance is the perfect fit.


Kimi has been busy in Maranello…

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| Source: ferrari.com |

Kimi with the LaFerrari

As Stefano Domenicali mentioned this morning in the interview he gave, Kimi Raikkonen is seen more and more often in Maranello, proof that he plans to get even more involved than in the past as he embarks on his second adventure with the Prancing Horse.

Today, Kimi’s schedule involved several meetings with the engineers to prepare the programme for the upcoming test sessions in Bahrain, as well as fine tuning his driving position in the cockpit of the F14 T.

This year’s race car was not the only Ferrari Kimi was keen to see close up and he ended the day having his first drive in a LaFerrari, the road car that represents the very essence of what makes the cars built in Maranello unique in the world. The Finn soon felt comfortable behind the wheel of the supercar, but there wasn’t enough time for him to test its performance on the Fiorano track. That will be for the next time, as Kimi feels ever more at home in Maranello!

Video: Kimi at the launch @00:47mins

 


Kimi’s photograph for Zoom charity auction

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| Source: autoweek.com |

photo-for-charity-by-kr_KRSKIMI RAIKKONEN – An exclusive look at Kimi Raikkonen’s submission for the photo collection is of a tree in his native Finland.
KR: “After a busy F1 weekend, I like to relax away from everything. The natural world is very peaceful to me.”

Not everyone can be a professional photographer, but for charity, Formula One drivers and team principals are trying.

In fact, in association with Zoom, every F1 driver and team was given the chance to take photos, which will be auctioned off to benefit the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. You can bid for Raikkonen’s photo here.

Along with the images, the Zoom auction includes cameras provided by Nikon, which have been signed by some of the biggest names in F1.

The drivers and team principals were asked to take photographs of their chosen subject, and those images will be signed and auctioned by U.K.-based auction house Coys at an event on Friday, Feb. 7. It will take place at the InterContinental London Park Lane and hosted by the BBC’s F1 presenter, Suzi Perry.

Images range from Fernando Alonso’s podium shot of the Monza crowd, to Nico Rosberg at the wheel of a 1938 W154 Mercedes, to the view from the window of F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone’s house in Switzerland.

The auction will also feature seven Nikon cameras signed by an F1 driver or legend. Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Räikkönen, Damon Hill, Jacque Villeneuve, John Surtees, Alain Prost and Sir Jackie Stewart each autographed cameras, and all of the proceeds will go to the GOSHCC.

The photographs will also be collated in a special edition book, which will go on sale ahead of the 2014 F1 season.

Video of the submissions:

 

Kimi has previously taken photographs for Zoom Charity, here is his photo from the auction 2012.


Turrini meets Kimi at Maranello

| Source: Leo Turrini’s Blog | Translation courtesy of RacingNerds.com |

Bd9NfRlCYAAdAvR.jpg large_krsLeo Turrini: “Kimi laughs like a child. Honestly, I have seen many drivers, but one in a state of ecstasy like him I have not seen. You see that Kimi is really happy and feels to be back home.”

So, where were we?

Ah, yes. I left the narration of my encounter with the Holy Drinker (*Kimi) pending… but the picture (taken, honor to his merit, by the ubiquitous Renato Bisignani, Ferrari’s P.R.) I took with him already said almost everything in the sense that in such circumstances (really random), it is not that we can leave a disquisition about the Maximum World Systems.

Bd9ljO4IYAAOZJC.jpg large_krsI came in to the Montana Restaurant (*a famous Restaurant near Maranello where you can often meet Ferrari’s staff) for a disastrous (*maybe for the enormous amount of food and drinks) convivial ceremony with Cola (aka Luca Colajanni, perfidious predecessor of Bisi). We settle in a small room, under a beautiful blow-up (*really big picture) of Alonso. While we were on the first dish paccheri (* a kind of good Italian pasta), a waiter came to us to offer the Lambrusco wine. Then we hear a voice (*it’s Kimi speaking): “And where is your friend Cat’s Eye (*Cat’s Eye, in Italian Occhi di Gatto, is a famous bloggara, a girl who reads Leo’s blog and knows Leo)?” I got a bit surprised and turned around to see Kimi instead of Alonso (*who was more probable to meet). I reply: “Truly, I should convey the greetings of Odin and Mazgiorg (*two bloggers who are Kimi supporters of course)”. I say: (*Leo is speaking to his bloggars now) “Hey! Now I want to see how they translate this post in Oulu and Turku languages, ehm ehm” (*Leo knows that his articles are translated in more than 12 countries and so he is curious about how they will translate these strange bloggers’ names!). “Nice guys”, he (*Kimi) says.

As the 2007 World Champion (in a t-shirt despite the cold, two mysterious tattoos at the biceps, a cap, which is really similar to U2′s The Edge one, Beautiful Day, One, With or Without You, Walk On, Magnificent) is surrounded by the entire squadron (race engineer A. Spagnolo, the motorists, the logistics officer Balocchi, Bisi and blah blah blah), the conversation moves on to really important things. That is: we talked about a match of ice hockey to play in Fanano, against the formation led by Cat’s Eye, excuse me, by Alonso. “But I suggest to keep the news secret, because every nonsense that I write on your behalf, they immediately translate it into Finnish…….so let’s defend your privacy”.

Kimi laughs like a child. Honestly I’ve seen pilots in fits of laughter but it was indeed rare that I happen to meet one in a state of ecstasy like that. You can easily note he is really happy… to be back at home. Or maybe, he did not understand what kind of missile (*rocket) a certain Adrian Newey is going to extract from the cellars…..

1526241_651419441570331_1797028630_nCome on! I explain some bizarre theories of a certain “Nelson66,” our blog’s technician (*Nelson is a blog reader who is an engineer and often he writes about technical aspects of the GP…). “Nice guy”, repeats the blond. So I tell him the story about that time at Interlagos (*2007) and about the cuddly (*the crying) I took a few days later, due to the unexpected surprise of victory. He laughs and says: “Are you ready for the next one?” I do not know if he was referring to the cuddly or at the world title in 2014. With this outstanding mystery narrated, I wish a good weekend to all.


Kimi Raikkonen off-track

| Source: autosport.com |

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Kimi Raikkonen has always been his own man, and when he tired of F1 in 2009, he set off for a two-year sabbatical. AUTOSPORT looks back at his rallying, NASCAR and sportscar adventures.

KIMI IN RALLYING

The Iceman became the Snowman pretty quickly. Shortly after starting his very first event with the Citroen C4 WRC in 2010 – the Arctic Rally in Finland, a warm-up for Rally Sweden – spectators were treated to the surreal sight of the 2007 Formula 1 world champion digging his own car out of a snowbank.

That would never have happened at Ferrari. But it was a skill that Raikkonen was to practise again on Rally Sweden itself a couple of weeks later, where the icy stages also take no prisoners. The man who Sir Stirling Moss once described as “the fastest driver in the world” turned out to be a dab hand with a shovel as well.

Of course, this was far from being Raikkonen’s first foray into world rallying – that took place on his home Rally Finland in 2009, at the wheel of a Super 2000 Abarth Grande Punto.

1389182677He was straight into the top three, fighting with future Intercontinental Rally Challenge and Super 2000 champion Juho Hanninen and Anton Alen, a former 1000 Lakes Group N class winner and son of rally legend Markku. Kimi is very close to the Alen family – one of his houses in Finland is just across the road from Markku’s – so he probably picked up a few tips.

Raikkonen undoubtedly felt his stunning performance in Finland would translate seamlessly into something similar in the World Rally Car category. Plenty of others thought exactly the same. But being competitive in the Super 2000 class is one thing, taking on Sebastien Loeb in the same car is another.

To be fair to Raikkonen, he approached it with an open mind. “I’ve always admired rally drivers for their skills and bravery,” he said at the time. “I just wanted to see if I could do it myself.”

It only took him three WRC events to finish in the points (with eighth in Jordan), and on the following round he scored what would remain his best result: fifth in Turkey.

That event, as Europe lay beneath an ash cloud that grounded aviation, was the prelude to an interesting journey home for most people. Apart from Kimi that is, who somehow managed to persuade his pilot to take off. He was relaxing at home before most of his Citroen colleagues had thought about boarding their coach back to Paris. It took them three days.

There were some low points as well. Raikkonen let out an unmanly yelp as his car went off the edge in El Cubilete, Mexico, followed by a string of words that are unprintable but extremely amusing.

While Kimi’s co-driver Kaj Lindstrom no doubt got sick of a scene acted out at hotels around the world most mornings – every Citroen driver (bar one) sitting patiently in the minibus, waiting to leave, while Lindstrom frantically called Kimi’s room from reception – Loeb was quite chuffed. “It’s good, because normally it’s me who is late,” he pointed out – directly from the minibus.

1389182701Kimi’s first and only fastest stage time came on the 2010 Rally Germany’s Circus Maximus, a spectator superspecial around the Porta Nigra – an ancient Roman gate – in Trier.

For his second season in the WRC, Raikkonen’s budget was significantly reduced, forcing him to go with his own team – Ice1 Racing – in a Citroen DS3 WRC funded by a variety of private sponsors. He didn’t complete a full season, tackling nine events in total with a best result of sixth in Jordan and Germany.

Under the WRC Team rules, he was obliged to contest two events outside Europe, and his decision to skip Rally Australia because it was “a long way” fell foul of that regulation.

Unsurprisingly, the Australian stewards did not accept the geographical location of their event as a mitigating circumstance and Ice1 Racing was excluded from the teams’ championship (although Raikkonen finished 10th in the drivers’ standings, for the second year running).

Then came the call to Lotus, but Kimi doesn’t think he would be where he is today without his two years in rallying.

“You cannot compare the two and say that this definitely helped,” he points out. “But when I stopped in F1 I was ready to do something different and challenge myself, and without that I don’t think I’d have come back.”

Raikkonen might not have had the results he wanted in the WRC, but he brought some real star quality to the championship with an army of passionate fans.

To our knowledge, Ken Block is the only other rally driver who has been followed into the toilet and photographed there… David Evans

KIMI IN NASCAR

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With his rallying sojourn fraying at the seams, Raikkonen spent a month in the US in 2011, running two tests and two races with Kyle Busch Motorsports.

His first experience of NASCAR-style machinery came in a truck test at the half-mile Gresham Motorsports Park oval in Georgia. And it didn’t take long for Kimi to make an impression on the team.

“A lot of time when we test, the driver will go out and mosey around for a couple of laps to get their bearings and get familiar with the racetrack,” says KBM team manager Rick Ren.

“He didn’t do that. When he went down pitroad he was wide open and that just shows his ability and confidence in his car control. I’m not used to people doing that.”

A further test followed at Rockingham, before Raikkonen made his Truck Series debut around the 1.5-mile Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kimi finished 15th and a week later contested the Nationwide race at the same track in a car run by KBM, but entered by Joe Nemechek’s team.

“The truck race didn’t go as good as I hoped it would, but the car race was going very well until he had a pitroad speeding penalty,” Ren recalls.

1389182747“I was really impressed during the Nationwide race. Our car was not nearly as good as what it could have been, he was driving the wheels off that thing and doing a very good job.

“It just ended up being not quite such a good day. We were running about seventh and that’s very respectable.”

But the race wasn’t without its dramas. As anyone who heard Kimi’s Abu Dhabi radio chat is aware, he knows what he’s doing – even if that means failing to wear the correct protective gear…

“When he first came here I looked at his shoes and I told him, ‘I don’t think you’ll be able to run those shoes over here’ and he’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah that’s what I always race with’, so he didn’t want to put the heat shields on. The floorboards get exceptionally hot in NASCAR vehicles, maybe 125-130 degrees.

“But he didn’t want to put his booties on as we call them and we are a bit into the race and he comes on the radio and says, ‘My feet are getting very hot! Never mind, I will put them out the window!’

“I thought that was the funniest thing I ever heard on the pitbox. And that was the only time he brought it up in the whole race.”

The team was keen to run Raikkonen in more races, but he never returned its call. Andrew van de Burgt

1389182791KIMI IN SPORTSCARS

Peugeot motorsport boss Olivier Quesnel had long since promised Kimi Raikkonen, then competing in World Rallying with sister marque Citroen, a go in one of his 908 HDi LMP1 turbodiesels and duly delivered in August 2011.

Quesnel, who was in charge of both marques, always denied that there was anything more to the test, but insiders insist that an outing at the Le Mans 24 Hours was discussed at some point. And quite rightly so after Raikkonen’s performance during his short try-out at Motorland Aragon.

“Kimi was quick straight out of the box,” says one of Peugeot’s retinue of drivers. “He got in the car and matched the quickest time of the test inside four laps.

“He arrived late, I think, didn’t make any fuss and didn’t bother too much about the seating position, and bang, he did the time. He did around 25 laps and then went home.”

Raikkonen apparently liked the car, apart from its powersteering, but any chance of a race outing as good as disappeared three months later when it was announced he’d be returning to F1 with Lotus.

And then it disappeared for good when Peugeot called time on its sportscar programme another couple of months after that.

By Gary Watkins

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Kimi on his LeMans experience (from F1Racing magazine Nov 2011 issue):

“The Le Mans car was interesting but, to be honest, the steering was quite sh*t and the windscreen was really strange – it sort of distorts the view… maybe because it’s very round”

“I can’t imagine what it’s like with oil and mess after you’ve been racing for a long time. But I enjoyed the experience and the car felt good.”

Kimi on Team Radio during Nascar:

“Biggest problem is my foot. It’s burning. I don’t understand how this car can be so hot. My ass is even burning in here!”

“They [the feet] are burning, but I get them off the floor so it’s better. Need drink.”


Ferrari: Welcome home Kimi

| Source: ferrari.com |

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What comes after Father Christmas? After 25 December the next festivity on the calendar is the start of the new year, but in Maranello, everything happens early, because if there’s one thing that can’t be lost, it’s time.

That’s how after last weekend, when all the drivers who fly the Prancing Horse flag on race tracks around the world, be they the Formula 1 drivers with the Scuderia, the youngsters from the Ferrari Driver Academy or those who have taken the 458 GT to victory all over the place, transformed themselves into Father Christmas, today, bringing an early taste of the new year, was someone who  shares his nationality with the best loved Father Christmas by kids of all nationalities, given that according to legend, he operates out of a base right in the north of Finland.

Today in Maranello, that other resident of Finland, Kimi Raikkonen was on hand to meet Stefano Domenicali and the senior engineers from the Scuderia. It was an opportunity to go over the current state of play on the design of the 2014 car, as well as a chance for Kimi to meet up with many old friends who, in a few weeks time will once again be his team. These include Antonio Spagnolo, who next season will the Finnish driver’s race engineer.


Recovery begins: Back surgery a success

Source: iltalehti.fi | ts.fi | MTV3Sport

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Ferrari bound Kimi Raikkonen is now recovering from successful back surgery, according to Finland’s MTV Sport.

After suffering with severe pain from an old back injury at grands prix recently, the Finn elected to sit out the last two races of 2013 in order to have the operation well ahead of his 2014 switch to Ferrari.

The surgery, performed on Thursday, “went well”, MTV reported, and the 34-year-old “can start light exercise in 4 to 6 weeks (time)”.

For the last two races of 2013 in Austin and Brazil, Lotus replaced Raikkonen with his Finnish countryman Heikki Kovalainen.

Statement from Lotus F1 Team:

‏@Lotus_F1Team
Statement: As planned, Kimi Räikkönen underwent back surgery yesterday at The University Hospital of Strasbourg.
@Lotus_F1Team
Lotus F1 Team is happy to report that the operation was totally successful, according to Professor Afshin Gangi.
@Lotus_F1Team
Kimi will now rest for a few days & he will start his recovery process as early as next week…
@Lotus_F1Team
Everyone at the track and at Enstone wishes him a quick recovery

Kimi undergoes surgery today in Austria

| Source: iltalehti.fi | Translated

Kimi+Raikkonen+F1+Grand+Prix+Italy+Qualifying+ZQtMFIsq3mhx_krs

As the F1 circus arrives in Austin, Texas, for this weekend’s USA Grand Prix, Raikkonen is in Salzburg, Austria, for his pre-meditated back surgery.

“Kimi has not been able to sleep properly. He also has had problems with walking type of aesthetic basics,” Räikkönen’s manager Steve Robertson says.

Surgery is therefore necessary. This way Kimi gets fit as quickly as possible and back to practice.

Back pains has bothered the Finn long time. The first hard blow came in 2001, when Raikkonen crashed out in the Magny Cours tests. In 2010, Räikkönen had the first back surgery due to the bulge.

Robertson says that the problems are now similar to those in the past .

“Kimi has a problem with the nerves in the lower back.”

He will rest after the surgery about four weeks. Raikkonen will be in the hospital a day or two .

“We are aware of previous surgery on the basis that it will take approximately four weeks before Kimi can not do anything decent,” Robertson says.

“The most important thing is to rest as much as possible after the operation.”


Kindness of Kimi

| Source: pekkahyysalo.com |

BR-BneZCEAE0Zp6 Iceman and FightBack “to fight back and become the best he can be” – Pekko had extremely serious brain injury and sank into a coma for 17 days

Quite many of you may have seen, that I met a new person. That person was Kimi Räikkönen, and I can just say that in my own opinion, he is a friend of mine now.

Let’s go back to when I hadn’t met him yet, when I had just seen him on TV and in those NUMEROUS tabloids… I didn’t really give a rats ass about, what everyone was saying about him. I just knew, he had a weird voice. That thin, unstable voice has been my own savior quite often, cause my own voice has been just that, on top of being unstable, very slow, weak and unclear. It was nice that someone so well known and famous, was sharing that with me. I had heard the super funny and straight, short answers he’d given to press. On my own opinion they were always super hilarious. About the bad press I can’t say anything, cause I don’t really read that much tabloids… But I know, that he has gotten his fair share of that, too.

After all I’ve fallen in love with the fact that, Kimi just is Kimi. I can’t even imagine all the media hassle around him, but at least when I met him, he must’ve been just himself. And that’s something I really respect.

Read the rest of Pekka’s blog about his meeting with Kimi and cute deal they agreed on – Kimi exchanged a recumbent for Pekka’s hat :)


Kimi tests GP3 car for Koiranen

| Source: f1fanatic.co.uk | lotusf1team.com | gallery |

Kimi Raikkonen Tests the GP3-13 Car

Never afraid of trying something new if there’s the potential for fun, Lotus F1 Team driver Kimi Raikkonen today lent an experienced hand to the GP3 Series by testing the next generation of car in sunny Barcelona.

The 2007 world champion did 58 laps in a GP3/13 car belonging to Koiranen GP. He set a best time of 1’34.780, eight seconds off his pace in an F1 car when he finished second in the Spanish Grand Prix at the track in May.

“I wanted to test the GP3/13 because my friend Afa Heikkinen has a team in this series and I have been closely following their progress and results since the beginning of the season,” said Raikkonen.

“I was curious to see how the car handled and it was actually fun to drive. There were a few issues regarding its behaviour, but we managed to solve most of them.

“The GP3/13 is a very good tool for young drivers, especially when you have to learn about tyre management like we have in F1.”

GP3 technical director Didier Perrin said Raikkonen’s input would help them develop the car: “His experience and feedback were invaluable and they gave us a better understanding of what needs to be done in order to make our car a better tool in overtaking opportunities for next season.”

“He has confirmed all our hypothesis, and together we could start working on two development directions for the end of season testing.”


Video: Kimi Raikkonen at burnYard, Hungary

| Source: lotusf1team.com |

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Lotus F1 Team driver Kimi Räikkönen will be part of a unique concoction of creativity at burn Yard Live on Friday July 26 2013. The ‘Iceman’ and champion skateboarder Rune Glifberg will exchange gifts as a symbolic gesture of creative collaboration, watched by a crowd of 2,000 revellers to mark the opening of burn Yard Live.

Imagine the most forward-thinking DJs collaborating with leading street artists, world-class action sports athletes and Lotus F1 Team drivers. This is burn Yard™; a new creative program from burn which is encouraging leading innovators from art, music and sport to collaborate and form a cross-culture collective. The burn Yard™ programme aims to nurture and inspire creative talent; providing a platform to showcase ground-breaking ideas to the world and inspire everyday creativity in everyone.

Videos:

Gallery:

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Kimi at Everts & Friends Motocross event

| Source: ice1racing.tumblr.com | iceoneracing facebook | xracing.fi | evertsandfriends.be |

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[ Click here for full gallery ]

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.

On Twitter:

@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.”

Videos:


( Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)


Even Kimi doesn’t get special treatment in Finland

| Source: iltasanomat.fi | mtv3.fi |

 

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.

On Twitter:

@StefanEverts 11 Jul
Yesterday riding with some friends from Finland… 👍S72 pic.twitter.com/c6yUcuijRH


Kimi, Heikki to take part in Moscow City Racing event

| Source: mosracing.ru | suomif1.com |

Caterham Formula One driver Kovalainen of Finland and compatriot Lotus F1 Formula One driver Raikkonen walk in the paddock ahead of the Hungarian F1 Grand Prix at the Hungaroring circuit near Budapest

Kimi Räikkönen and Heikki Kovalainen will participate in the Moscow City Racing event on the 20th and 21st of July.

Moscow City Racing announced that at the Red Square F1 cars will present from a total of five teams: Ferrari (driver Kamui Kobayashi), McLaren (Jenson Button), Lotus (Kimi Raikkonen), Caterham (Heikki Kovalainen) and Marussia (Max Chilton).

Representatives of the DTM and the WRC, as well as a number of other motorsports-related classes will be present at the event.


Kimi with the Dudesons in Monaco

| Source: dudesons.com |

Day7_kimi1-copy_krsKimi’s racing suit on auction for charity, worn by Jarppi.

After this year’s Gumball 3000 adventure we stayed in Monaco a bit longer to watch the F1 GP race! After the race we had the honor to host a charity auction event on a yacht anchored on Monaco waters. The auctioned item in question was F1 champion Kimi Räikkönen’s racing overalls which he wore when winning the Australian GP earlier this year!

While Jukka and Jarppi hosted the event Jarppi acted as an example on how the overalls Fit even a Dudeson. In the end the suit was auctioned at the whopping price of 53 000 euros which goes to SOS Children’s Villages!

It was also nice to see how Kimi was in a good mood, even though Sergio Perez ruined his race in the Monaco GP a day earlier by crashing into Kimi’s car.

On Twitter:

@jukkadudeson Supporting our man #kimiraikkonen #gumball3000 family @lotus_f1team #Dudesons #duudsonit @jarppidudeson http://instagram.com/p/ZvC2DVlP7f/


Video: Raikkonen at the Burn Yard Live

| Source: formula1.com | f1socialdiary.com |

Kimi Raikkonen proved that driving is not his only talent on Thursday, when he tried his hand at spray painting as part of a Lotus team sponsor event in Barcelona. True, Raikkonen’s work may not yet make the Tate Modern, but for an amateur his skills were surprisingly impressive.

As part of the inaugural ‘burn yard live’, the Finn helped to ‘re-livery’ a Lotus race car under the guidance of world-renowned street artist, M-City. It was the first of a series of such workshops designed to bring together leading innovators from the worlds of youth art, music and sport.

Kimi Raikkonen: “It looks cool. And it fits perfectly with the team’s philosophy of being that extra bit creative. Would I like to race a car designed like this? To be honest, the livery or the colour is the least of my concerns. It has to be fast – that is all that matters.”

The location for Raikkonen’s master class was the regenerated Astilleros shipyards on the shores of Barcelona’s Mediterranean coast. But his artistic education will not stop there – future burn yard live events are planned for locations including Hungary, Korea and Brazil, with the former champion getting a lesson in a new field at each.

Video:

 

On Twitter:

@burn
Nothing but cool from the #Iceman #Kimi at #burnYard BCN #CatchTheBull #FuelYourFire @Lotus_F1Team http://instagram.com/p/ZGYbkcTT6w/

@AdamHayNicholls
Is Kimi Raikkonen Banksy’s real identity?

Burn Yard Live

Lotus F1 Team Official Partner Burn to introduce exciting new event to the Formula 1 calendar by the name of ‘burn yard live’. On 9th May 2013, the event – the first in a series – will be taking place at the Astilleros shipyards on the shores of Barcelona’s Mediterranean coast. The event will see burn bring together a collective of leading innovators from the worlds of art, music and sport to create a groundbreaking fusion of youth culture. One of the key highlights of the event will see M-City – a street artist renowned globally for his giant monochrome murals – take an unusual canvas in the form of a Lotus F1 Team show car and apply a series of bespoke artwork live in front of an audience.

Q: How long is it going to take to create this artwork?

M-City: It will take me two and a half days to complete the car. At the end of the process, I’ve got a very special guest from Lotus F1 Team – driver Kimi Räikkönen – coming along to help me put the final piece of the design to the car. It will be really cool to collaborate with him.

Photos:


Kimi at the KINI Full Gas event in Austria

| Source: motorsport-magazin.com | krferraricommunity | gallery |

David Coulthard@therealdcf1
Kini’s full gas event in Austria with Karl. Kini and Kimi pic.twitter.com/MvPnqClONj

He is not only the prelude winner of a Formula 1 season, but also a proud KTM Motocross World Championship Team Owner (ICE1Racing) – Kimi Raikkonen comes to KINI full gas at 01 May 2013 to Schlitters the Zillertal, Austria. The Finn will possibly from the huge array of unique entertainment acts and originals from various motorsport disciplines can thereby also be carried away into a smile, all for the charity Wings For Life.

Video: Kimi at the event


 

Between 10 and 18 clock offers Heinz Kinigadners extraordinary exhibition Motorsport Motorsport up close in the usual manner. The warm-up party on the eve of a 20 clock begins.

Also this year fulfills Motorcycle legend Heinz Kinigadner with the range of issued racers all desires. The pits in Schlitters offers enough space for noble Formula 1 racing cars, rally trucks and lightning-fast MotoGP bikes. Besides KTM prototypes and e-motorcycles, Moto 3 – and motocross bikes, originals from the Dakar Rally and Nascar series will be admired up close with the motor sports show. New in the show program is the demonstration of the former Supermoto World Champion Bernd Hiemer and its industry peers, as well as the “KTM Zero Emission Race” with the electric freeride bike and numerous Showruns.

The KINI Fullgas day is traditionally a meeting place for motor sports fans as well as for the stars of this year and as follows for the first time Formula 1 star Kimi Raikkonen Heinz Kinigadners invitation. The absolute motocross fan and championship team owner is in the Zillertal including the Austrian ski downhill “bulls” from Oeblarn, Klaus Kroell, can meet and talk not only with Felix Baumgartner and Gregor Bloéb and Tobias Moretti on the orange bikes from Mattighofen .

A dedicated stop the Zillertal railway takes visitors directly to the arena for many thousands of horsepower, engine and freestyle shows, when “Motorsport up close” as the theme and will be opened jointly with the sports-loving celebrities the season. In less than 10 minutes to get from Jenbach half hour easily and directly to the event site, from the bus stop in Mayrhofen one needs about 40 minutes.

The evening before, there is the full gas warm-up party (admission € 5) is directly at the event site and as part of the gas KINI full day in the calendar of every motorsport fans. The total proceeds from the sale and big raffle will benefit the research Wings for Life Foundation (www.wingsforlife.com).

Special for all wheelchair users: for she and a companion applicable to the entry of an € 8 and on the other they get on the podium in a state holiday event area to get a better view of the action.
(Google translation)


Kimi to attend Gumball 3000

| Source: autoevolution.com | gumball3000.com | maxrally.com |

Kimi Raikkonen will squeeze in a rally in between the Spanish and Monaco grands prix next month – but sadly he won’t be competing. Or will he?

The 2007 Formula One World Champion – who competed full-time in the WRC from 2010-2011 – will be attending the start of the 15th anniversary Gumball Rally, which starts from Copenhagen on May 18th. After that, we’ll have to wait and see.

The Gumball Rally isn’t quite rallying as we know it: instead it’s all about a load of supercars driving around Europe – a bit like the Carrera Panamericana, but with better parties. As one team’s motto puts it: “we don’t drive fast, we fly low.” But as it’s all on public roads, officially there is no competitive element.

And while Kimi isn’t taking part, he has some very good friends who are: car number 34’s team description is simply: “four crazy Finns.” The Finns in question are the ‘Dudeson brothers’: four Finnish stuntmen with their own TV show, which is broadly the equivalent of Jackass.

The first stage is from Copenhagen to Stockholm, followed by a stage from Stockholm to Helsinki – and rumours keep persisting that car 34 might have an unscheduled guest driver on the opening leg…

Other confirmed drivers for the Gumball include the legend that is David Hasselhoff and a car crewed by members of the band Cypress Hill, as well as professional skier Jon Olsson.

The Gumball 3000 finishes in Monaco, after going via St Petersburg, Tallinn, Riga, Warsaw and Vienna.

In the Gumball Rally entry grid list, we see Team 34 with the description “4 crazy Fins.” The car shown is a BMW but according to this link, Kimi will be driving a special 1967 Shelby G.T.500. The Dudesons are Team 06.

On Twitter:

Pete Johnston@cptjohnston
Can’t wait to like up on the start grid in Copenhagen next to @Kimi_Raikkonen #gumball3000 @bavmajithia @MRGUMBALL3000 @gumball3000

Follow The_Dudesons and Jukka Hilden for updates during the rally.

The Dudesons have participated in the 2011 rally where they bumped into Kimi Raikkonen in Monaco. Kimi gave some advice to the Dudesons in this video.

Raikkonen_visito_Montecarlo_The_Dudesons


Kimi does motocross during F1 break

| Source: yallaf1.com |

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Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen filled in the time between the recent Malaysian Grand Prix and round three in China this weekend with a spot of motocross.

Founded alongside his rallying team during his two-year Formula 1 sabbatical, Raikkonen’s IceOne squad also includes a motocross arm.

So the Finn pulled on his MX gear and goggles last week – during the three-week break between Malaysia and China – and headed to Belgium, according to the Finnish broadcaster MTV3.

There, the 2007 world champion participated in the gravel practice session, with images depicting him in full airborne tilt.

Motocross riding would ordinarily be deemed too dangerous for Formula 1 teams to allow, but Lotus team boss Eric Boullier admitted last week that, “One of our drivers is famous for doing pretty much what he wants”.


Video: Iceman goes Ice Racing in Moscow

Sky Sports F1 aired this feature before the Malaysian Grand Prix today. Natalie Pinkham goes ice racing with Kimi in Moscow:


Kimi finished 2nd in Race of Stars

Source: lotusf1team.com | autosport.com | ts.fi

Kimi Räikkönen was the headline act at the ‘Race of Stars’ this weekend; a unique activity staged in Moscow, Russia where drivers take to a temporary track covered entirely with ice within Moscow’s Hippodrome.

Alongside fellow 2013 Formula 1 competitor Charles Pic, Kimi competed in races using specially adapted Renault Duster and Logan cars; the all-terrain, lightweight 4×4 vehicles from the French marque.

The Race of the Stars is one of the longest-running motorsports events staged in Russia, with 23 editions to date. The concept of the race is simple; all competing drivers [selected from various motorsport disciplines in Russia and beyond] take part in qualifying before being divided into four test groups. After four 15 minute semi-finals, the grand finale takes place with a three-loop sprint around the arena. The winner of this event was then pitted against Kimi and Charles to decide the ultimate victor.

Some of the biggest names in the discipline have competed in the event, including four-times Formula 1 World champion Alain Prost, Grand Prix winner David Coulthard and Kimi’s team-mate Romain Grosjean.

Kimi already has significant experience of driving on ice and not just from his days back in Finland, having competed in the FIA World Rally Championship for two seasons with entries into the Arctic and Sweden rallies in 2010 and 2011.

KR: “It was good to be back on an ice track after a while away. It made a change from Barcelona and my regular Formula 1 car! You need a very different driving style on ice; you have to be very smooth on the throttle and brakes and feed the steering in, but a small drift can also be pretty fun… I enjoyed it, particularly seeing so many fans out here.”

Autosport report:

Kimi Raikkonen and Charles Pic flew straight from Barcelona Formula 1 testing on Saturday to Moscow to be special guests in the Race of Stars ice event.

Za Rulem magazine’s ice racing event in a hippodrome, first held in 1978, attracts national drivers from many different disciplines.

Every year representatives from Formula 1 and the World Rally Championship are also invited, with previous guests including Sebastien Loeb, Alain Prost, David Coulthard and Vitaly Petrov.

Pic and Raikkonen started their day with a duel in Renault Dusters, where the Lotus driver’s rally experience showed as he led at first before slowing as Pic came through to win.

In the main progamme, former Lada World Touring Car driver Kirill Ladygin was declared the winner after Russian rallycross champion Dmitry Bragin’s exclusion due to missing headlights. It was a record fourth win for Ladygin.

The F1 guests then tried to beat Ladygin on his home ground. This proved impossible for Caterham man Pic, but Raikkonen pushed the Russian quite hard end even briefly overtook him at one point.

“We have a long history, Finland and Russia,” said Raikkonen. “It is nice to have fans from here and hopefully they will come when a race will be here [at Sochi].”

TurunSanomat article (Translation courtesy of Nicole)

Kimi Räikkönen and Charles Pic took part in Russian All Stars race as invited guests to race with Russian racing drivers on an ice-track in Moscow.

Although the visit on Saturday was a PR-event for Räikkönen and Pic, the Russian champions were racing seriously. Russian’s oldest car-magazine “Za Ruljom” (Behind the steering wheel) arranges this traditional race.

They also have a tradition of inviting international stars to Moscow. Because Renault sponsors the event they sent Räikkönen and Pic there.

Räikkönen and Pic drove VIP-guests and media reporters around the track in a small Renault Logan.

In between races the F1 drivers raced each other and Räikkönen was much more faster than Pic, as was expected too.

At the end of the event they arranged two super finals where each driver faced the winner of All Stars race, the champion of touring-racing Kirill Ladygin, in a duel.

Ladygin, who is a real professional, beat Pic easily but the situation with Räikkönen was completely different. Kimi battled until the end and was twice just about to overtake Ladygin. However the Russian pilot managed to maintain his position to the finish line and Kimi followed in second place.

After the race Ladygin confessed to the Russian media that the guests weren’t offered enough of time to practice and didn’t because of that know these cars as well as the Russian drivers.

Videos of Race of Stars event: