Interview: Welcome to The Iceman’s Cave
Seiska’s reporter Panu Hörkkö visited Kimi Räikkönen at his home and he was surprised – positively.
“When I drove on Feb 3rd from Helsinki to Kimi Räikkönen’s villa in Porkkalanniemi I had butterflies in my stomach. I had actually had them ever since the night before and Kimi even visited in my few hours dream to be honest.
So the unconsciousness pulled cruel tricks on me. I was however about to meet Kimi for the first time and I had heard that he hates reporters. I wondered which one of us is more troubled with the meeting – the one who was going to be interviewed or the interviewer?
Kimi’s expression was something completely different from what I had expected!
When the photographer and I arrived to Porkkalanniemi we were greeted by Riku Kuvaja. He informed in his kind way that he would go and walk around the villa with the photographer and I could soon interview Kimi in peace.
Soon after that the glass door opened and a beanie-headed Kimi came out to shake hands with me.
I immediately saw an expression on Kimi’s face that I hadn’t seen in one single magazine or tv-interview earlier. Kimi was unbelievably laidback and frankly put charming, if a man can say so about another man.
Kimi’s boyishness and grinning continued all through our 3-hours meeting and the ice broke easily in the Iceman’s cave. Kimi answered my questions in a laidback way and used his witty sense of humour. His laughter was catching and the atmosphere was warm.
It wasn’t pretending from his side, I can say based upon my life experience that Kimi is genuinely a laidback person – and modest too on top of that – unlike many “heroes” I have met.
Lacking speaking skills, they say! After we left the villa I could only think that dammit, that guy just hates cameras just like probably 99% of Finnish men also hate!
Next F1-season I am going to concentrate on following only Kimi and his grips in Lotus. The guy did after all set the fastest laptime in Jerez testing!
I will leave in their own league those who nag about Kimi’s poor skills of commenting or posing. Afterall I know myself that we Finns have an exceptionally charming hero in this man. And a man can say this about another man.
Good luck to the upcoming season, Kimi!
Q: What kind of chances of success do you think Lotus has this season?
KR: It’s difficult to say, nobody knows yet. We will see after the first tests where we are going.
Q: Do you have hunger for another WDC?
KR: Yes. You always have that as a goal. I will try a lot, lets see if that’s enough or not.
Q: You have said that Lotus has a homey atmosphere compared to your earlier teams, how do you see the difference?
KR: Each team has always been different. Lotus has however a different kind of management. They are younger and racing-spirited and not any uptight people.
Q: Is Sebastian Vettel your best buddy in F1?
KR: Yes, I know him best and have spent most of time with him than with any other drivers.
Q: Do you have any enemy or someone you can’t stand there?
KR: No I haven’t but it’s difficult to say what other people think.
Q: Have you already met your team mate Romain Grosjean? Is he a good guy?
KR: I have met him and he is a nice normal guy.
Q: Where do you see yourself after ten years?
KR: Difficult to say but hopefully everything is still okay.
Q: What plans do you have for your life after F1?
KR: No plans. I have never have any terribly long plans.
Q: In how good physical shape are you?
KR: I guess in the same shape as before. I know pretty well in which shape one has to be.
Q: They operated your wrist after the recent motorsledge-race. Has it healed well?
KR: Yeah. It’s now completely okay.
Q: They often talk about your money in public. You have a fortune of over 100 million euros. What does money mean to you?
KR: I guess it means the same as it means to other people too. I get a certain amount of money for the job that I do. Some think it’s right, some think it’s wrong. I myself have however made all the work so it doesn’t make me ashamed at all. Money makes some things easier but it really doesn’t solve everything in life.
Q: Has the big fortune made you out of touch with reality or do you even think about monetary matters?
KR: *laughing* Definitely not! I’m just the same as I was before. It makes some things easier but it also brings a lot of negative things along.
Q: Do you pay your bills yourself or do you use an internet-bank for example?
KR: No I don’t. My mum takes care of quite many of my things.
Q: How much money will you get for your next season in Lotus?
KR: I get something.
Q: How have you invested your money?
KR: Well I have a few apartments and something like that… You have to live somewhere.
Q: They have thought in public that you are part-owner in Lotus, is that true?
KR: No it’s not.
Q: Would you like to own your own F1-team someday?
KR: I don’t have the passion for it. In the end it’s quite cruel business.
Q: Have you ever donated a lot of money to charity?
KR: I have done that every now and then. At the moment I have this small thing going on with SOS Children’s Village.
Q: What is your biggest win in poker?
KR: In poker? It can’t have been any big sum at least! I have sometimes played poker with my buddies but never been to a casino.
Q: Then what is your biggest loss in poker?
KR: I doesn’t come to my mind right now, but usually I lose rather than win.
Q: Do you play other gambling games?
KR: I guess I have sometimes played some pajazzo etc. if they are seen as gambling games, but nothing more.
Q: They say that you are genuinely a laidback guy and don’t look like you would be nervous of any racing situations. What kind of situations make you nervous?
KR: Hard to say. Sometimes normal things can make me nervous. It depends on the place but I am also nervous about races.
Q: What kind of things are you afraid of?
KR: There are no things that I would be afraid of. I don’t have fear for high places or things like that.
Q: You have many houses but how many homes do you have?
KR: This place in Porkkalanniemi is one home and I have another home in Switzerland. I don’t think that I have any more homes than anyone else has.
Q: You travel a lot. How many nights per year are you here in Porkkalanniemi?
KR: I can’t say at all. I spend more time here in the summer when the weather is good.
Q: Is the place in Kaskisaari more of a partying place than home?
KR: No. I use it when I have for example some job stuff in Helsinki.
Q: How do you decorate your apartment? I doubt you go to IKEA by yourself.
KR: No I don’t go to IKEA. This house has been designed by interior-people.
Q: Is there something in the interior that Jenni likes and that you let her have with long teeth?
KR: Well I don’t have terribly much that I would have objected to. I don’t pay attention to those kind of details. We have a pretty similar taste but interior is more a thing for women. I’m sure it’s more important to them than it is to me for example. We should just let the women take care of these things!
Q: Which room is your favorite room?
KR: I guess I spend most time on the couch in front of the tv.
Q: What do you serve your friends when they come and visit you?
KR: It depends of course on which day it is! *laughing* I don’t usually ask terribly much, they find their way to the fridge themselves.
Q: Do you go to the supermarket yourself?
KR: I go there quite often. I like to go there but it also depends upon which time you go there. Sometimes there are many people etc. but I like to circle around there.
Q: Do you clean your home yourself?
KR: Yeah I clean sometimes. I do the normal cleaning myself, like wash my own clothes.
Q: Do you have a housekeeper?
KR: No. A cleaning lady comes twice a month to sweep the biggest trash.
Q: Do you make food yourself?
KR: I make food if I’m home alone.
Q: What is your speciality?
KR: I guess it’s chicken pasta. It’s the easiest to make. I’m not any passionate cook.
Q: What is your favorite food?
KR: I like salmon quite much and meatballs are quite good too.
Q: What is your favorite drink?
KR: I drink a lot of milk.
Q: How do you prepare a White Russian the right way?
KR: I don’t know since I haven’t drank White Russians for years. I’m sure I couldn’t make them the right way.
Q: What about cranberry vodka?
KR: I guess you mix vodka with some cranberry.
Q: Is Jenni a good cook?
KR: She is a bit better than me but if we would compete I think it would be quite an even competition.
Q: Does she cook for you often?
KR: Every now and then. We don’t have any rule book about those things, that someone would always have to cook. Often we go out for dinner and sometimes pick up something.
Q: Do you have pets?
KR: We have three dogs. My mom keeps two Jack Russell terriers and the German Shepard is in Switzerland.
Q: What names do they have?
KR: Reiska, Peppi and Ajax.
Q: Is it true that you are allergic to Jenni’s horses?
KR: I’m allergic to quite many things like cats and horses. I get a stuffed up nose if I spend a lot of time with them. I had more allergies during the army-time.
Q: What tv-programs do you watch?
KR: This and that. Mostly sport. Yesterday I was staring at something that my mom watched.
Q: Your favourite movie?
KR: Finnish movies.
Q: What Finnish icehockey-league do you support?
KR: I don’t personally support anything special. Of course I hope that Espoo’s and Helsinki’s leagues would do well. I don’t follow icehockey with clenched teeth and despite rumours I don’t own anything from Tampere’s Ilves. May the best league win.
Q: How often do you party?
KR: It depends a lot. Now I haven’t had time to party because of having so much to do. Of course if I’m free and want to go, then I go. I don’t have any regulations concerning that. These things are related to normal life just like it is with everybody else too.
Q: How is a good party made, a party where you enjoy yourself?
KR: I guess it’s the good gang. That’s where it usually takes off.
Q: Does it have to be karaoke?
KR: It has been less karaoke although it’s usually been fun there. It’s not necessary but I rather go to a smaller and more quiet place than to some big disco.
Q: How much and what do you drink during a bar-night?
KR: Hmmm… Hard to say what I drink. There is no main drink. I usually order a lot of cranberry vodka because my buddies drink a lot of that. I often drink vodka and vichy if I drink.
Q: Are you a person who likes to be comfortable?
KR: Well not any more than anyone else is. I’m usually fine with everything.
Q: How hard steam-man in sauna are you?
KR: I like sauna but with normal steam. No sauna-Timo-business for crying out loud!
Q: The sea is here beside, do you swim a lot?
KR: I swim in the summer. The last time I took a swim in that sea was just before the ice came.
Q: Cold or hot shower?
KR: It depends a little but I like a really cold shower too. It refreshes quite well.
Q: How much time do you spend in the shower?
KR: Well as long as I get clean I guess. I don’t have any stopwatch there for crying out loud!
Q: Do you sing in the shower?
Q: Do you wear a bathrobe or do you walk around with a towel over your hips?
KR: With a towel.
Q: Your favourite cologne/scent?
KR: I only use the basic deodorant. You get it easy from the gas station!
Q: Do you blowdry your hair?
Q: What is your favourite music?
KR: I usually listen to Finnish music from the radio.
Q: You mean radio Suomi Pop?
KR: I have been less now that people there have changed. It’s not as good in the morning as it used to be.
Q: How many cars do you own?
KR: Five I think. Audi, Fiat, Merc and VW. I guess I get some Lotus too soon but any luggage won’t fit into them.
Q: How many tattoos do you have and do they have some meaning?
KR: Two. I don’t think that they have any special meaning.
Q: You have told that you would want to have two children. At which stage do you think starting a family would be actual?
KR: Of course you want family. It doesn’t mean that there should be one or two children. Hopefully I get a family at some point and that all children would be healthy. I think that’s the main thing.
Q: I heard that you are very fond of children. Is it true?
KR: Yes, I like children. I don’t have any of my own but I like spending time with them.
Q: What is the secret of your and Jenni’s lasting marriage?
KR: I don’t think that we have any secret. Of course we have arguments and nagging at times just like in every other relationship but it’s normal life.
Q: How often do you see Jenni?
KR: We are about every day together at home unless we are on some trips. It has been like that ever since we met.
Q: What mutual hobbies do you have?
KR: I guess just being home since we both have our own hobbies. I do my own things and Jenni rides everyday.
Q: What is a good relationship like according to you?
KR: I’m sure everyone have a different relationship and you can’t order what is good for anyone. For as long as both have fun and both feel good to be together is what defines it.
Q: Which one of you are more jealous?
KR: Hard to tell.
Q: Are you jealous of each other?
KR: I’m sure eveyone is. Even though you would say that you aren’t jealous I think everyone is.
Q: Are you happy?
KR: Yes. I don’t have anything to complain about.
Q: Do you think that Jenni is also happy with you?
KR: Yes. We wouldn’t be together if we weren’t happy. Like I said there are always arguments every now and then but I think it’s the same for everyone else too.
Q: Do you read Seiska?
KR: I read it every now and then because we get it in Switzerland! Yeah, the bible comes to our home (laughing).
Q: So you call Seiska jokingly a bible?
KR: It is sometimes like that, yes!
Magazine scans: Check out Kimi’s home!