Archive for June 23, 2008

RTL Interview with Kimi, France 2008

Kimi on childhood, family and kids

This interview video was taken during the French GP weekend by German channel RTL. Kimi talks about family, having kids (yes girls, he’s gonna have his own children one day! A baby Kimi, awwww!) and how racing has only made him wiser but unchanged as a person. It’s covered in German translation but thankfully Essi wrote down an English translation for us!

Kimi: "In the family we don´t speak so much and we also don´t phone all the time. Sure, when I am at home in Finland with my parentss and my older brother Rami, we talk about the normal things in life, but not about racing because everybody knows that this is one thing I don’t like to talk too much about, when I am off work."

RTL: Father a roadworker, mother Paula a small clerk, and little Kimi had big dreams at an early age:

Kimi: "I guess when I was 8 years old, I said to my mum:"Mum I am gonna be a world champion, but I don´t know in which kind of sport."

RTL: Kimi and cars, that only could become a career like this. For him, they gave up their last shirt, only had a privy, but instead of a new toilet, his cart was repaired first, because what is a toilet in comparison to a little, happy child:

Kimi: "As a child I was bored very fast with most things, I had to do something all the time and was wild at some things, but some are like this. Now in that time I came down more, but this is normal for everybody."

RTL: But he is still wild. A life between Vodka and wine. He likes breaking out privatly, and sometimes fell out of the frame, like in the comedy classic "Boat drop in the higher alcoholic content with a harpoon" as seen on YouTube:

Kimi: "No I haven´t changed anything, and will not change it. The people only leave me alone more, disturb me less, don´t write anymore so much about it. I lead my life on like this, it worked very good so far and the private stuff never influenced my performance. When I would realize that I am doing something wrong, I would change my attitude. I want to enjoy my life, as long as I can. You need something else than Motorsports in your life. I have great friends, a fantastic family and my wife, I have everything, so I enjoy my life, that´s the main thing."

RTL: The wild guy also has a soft side. Since 4 years he is married to model Jenni who has her own career in horse riding.

Kimi: "For sure I want to have children one day, but in Formula One you don´t have time, appointments all the time, so that´s probably not the right time now. If I have children I want to have much time for them, especially when they are small. For sure I wanna have kids when I am still young, but I still have many , many years, so one day it will come."


2008 France GP Stats & Analysis, Free Engine Change For Kimi? The French GP should have been Kimi’s victory as his name was written all over it from taking pole position and managing to maintain a healthy lead over his teammate despite being one lap lighter on fuel. Ferrari’s reliability isn’t as strong as their rivals, as we’ve seen over last year and this year at Australia, but with a sturdy Felipe Massa behind they still pulled off a 1-2 victory after taking their 200th pole with Kimi. Taking 8 points away is a good result nonetheless but obviously 10 would have been better, and to be honest, more deserving for Kimi. But, let’s look at some other achievements that he’s quietly taken from the French GP with other drivers, courtesy of and Michele Merlino.

The Number 500

Finishing eighth, Fernando Alonso became the sixth driver in F1
history to score at least 500 points – after Michael Schumacher, Prost,
Senna, David Coulthard and Rubens Barrichello. Curiously, Raikkonen
stopped at 499 after the French Grand Prix.

Qualifying notes

Kimi conquered his 17th pole, sitting alongside Stirling Moss at the 15th spot on the all-time charts. ( had originally written that Kimi scored his 16th career pole, which is a mistake.) It’s his second pole of the year making it a 3-5 out-qualify to his teammate Felipe Massa (Spain, Canada, France).

Race notes

The sequence of fastest laps by Kimi
Raikkonen keeps growing and now the Finn, reaching five fastest laps in
a row this season, is tied at the second all-time place with Michael Schumacher:

Schumacher – 76

Prost – 41

Raikkonen – 30

Mansell – 30

Most consecutive fastest laps

Alberto Ascari – 7 (Belgium ’52 – Argentina ’53)
Michael Schumacher – 5 (Bahrain – Europe ’04)
Kimi Raikkonen – 5 (Spain – France ’08)

Raikkonen is back in the points after a drought that lasted two
races. To find a longer one in Kimi’s career we have to go back to
2004, when he didn’t score points for three consecutive races: Spain,
Monaco and Europe.

Overall, the French GP was a great performance from the Iceman, and gives an even more encouraging preview for Silverstone which is two weeks away. Infact, great is an understatement in my opinion as Kimi consistantly ran fast and faster and the term after faster is know to be Raikkonen here. During the race, he hit laptimes within the 1min16sec margin more than 5 times, whereas his teammate never did, but this was obviously aided by running lighter and pushing harder to get a bigger gap. But in races where Kimi was heavier, such as Malaysia this year, he put in a string of fastest laps to beat Felipe and take the win after the pit stops. Felipe’s quickest time before he first pitted was 1.16.729 and Kimi’s was 1.16.630, a tenth slower than Kimi when really it should have been at least a tenth quicker. ITV’s commentator Martin Brundle said that Kimi ‘pushed like crazy on his in lap’ and he also felt that Kimi would maintain the lead when both pit stops were finished. But before the second round of pitstops, Kimi had already lost the lead to Felipe because of the problem with the engine/exhaust yet he still managed to lap 6 tenths quicker than Felipe despite having some mechanical trouble. That’s pretty cool. So we know, without a doubt, that Kimi had the edge over Felipe here and the win was for the taking.

Kimi’s driving after having to nurse his car was worthy of note, as he still kept the fastest lap of the race and matched Massa’s laptimes in the final stint. The cause for Kimi to lose the race win was the exhaust problem, which is yet to be examined by Ferrari but Stefano Domenicali says that it’s most likely Kimi will need a new engine change for Silverstone although it’s uncertain at the moment but he mentioned that the team is lucky that it is allowed one unscheduled engine change
without penalty."I would say it is quite likely that we will have to
replace the engine," said Domenicali after the race. "For sure, after
such a heavy race from the middle to the end, it’s very likely that we
have to change it so we need to play the joker that allows us to do

"We will do the analysis later on and tomorrow but there’s no
rush to do anything more than eventually change it when we go to

"Unfortunately it was not possible to
understand the problem and also the other difficulty is that for almost
half of the race all the breaking parts were falling apart so it will
also be difficult to collect all the pieces in our hands because
they’re somewhere around the track."

"If you lose the exhaust
there’s no more performance and then you start to have different
parameters on the engine, the temperatures go up, the water pressure
comes down. Everything is mixed up, of course. In a way, it was very
very good and very important to finish the race with eight points in
that condition."

Domenicali explained that the team felt that
they had limited time at the second pit stop in which they could do
anything to help the problem. "It had already fallen off. There was the
cable of the lamda and we decided not to cut that because we would
maybe lose more seconds, and we had Trulli pushing behind so we took
that into consideration. I have to say that in terms of strategy, in
terms of teamwork everything was done correctly."

How much
longer would it have lasted? "The maximum the engine lasts is for two
races so maybe I think it’s a bit ambitious to have another race in
that condition but honestly, I don’t know, difficult to say. I don’t
want to tell lies; I don’t know."

So, whatever happens with the engine, if the team has a free engine change they might as well use it as they can only benefit from a fresh engine on a fast circuit like Silverstone. As Stefano said, it’s a bit tricky to use the engine in that condition again. Better to be safe than sorry and being safe means scoring as many points as possible. And I also think Kimi will beat Michael Schumacher’s most consecutive fastest laps of 5, taking his 6th at Silverstone. Then he will equal Ascari. Hopefully!