Raikkonen exclusive – Sportbild interview

| Source: sportbild.de | courtesy of @KimiFanPage |

The man of few words talks. The reason why he is taking Vettel in his private jet, why he doesn’t extend his contract with Lotus at the moment and why a second world championship title wouldn’t make him happier…

Q: Mr. Räikkönen, the drummer of Guns Roses told us, that you had been drinking together. Is there a little rocker inside of you?

KR: ”In general, I like music, but not such music. The guys of guns ‘n’ roses are just cool. I don’t care if they’re famous musicians or not. I just like being together with such guys.”

Q: You were flying home from China together with Sebastian Vettel. From Munich on, in your private jet. Would you do so for every driver colleague?

KR: ”No, but not everyone lives near Zurich.”

Q: It says, Vettel has no more friends in the paddock. Is that true?

KR : ”It is basically difficult to have friends inside the Formula One, but we two are. We aren’t seeing each other as often as before because Seb moved a bit wider away, but I still would call him my friend in Formula One. I know him best of all.”

Q: He (Seb) is still being critized for ignoring team-orders in Malaysia. How would you have acted if the team told you to stay behind your slower teammate?

KR: ”Always you journalists with your would-if-questions! Team-orders are a part of Formula One. Sometimes you stick to it, sometimes it doesn’t make sense. Team-orders can be that your engineer tells you to do this or that, but you wanted to do it the other way round. Then I won’t listen to my engineer and do what I want.”

Q: Just like Vettel. Afterwards he told honestly what he’s thinking about his teammate. How did you like that?

KR: ”Seb has his opinion and he told it. He is honest and open. That’s a good thing, I like that.”

Q: How did Seb change because of his three titles?

KR: ”He didn’t change. Sure thing: He’s getting older and gets to know more about the sport. But apart from that, his personality didn’t change at all. He’s still a normal, funny and nice guy.”

Q: Now you two are fighting each other for race victories and the championship. Will you remain friends?

KR: ”Yes. We trust each other, that neither of us will do something stupid in a in fight. We’re honest and open. If it comes to a crash between us, we probably will be complaining about each other (laughs). But that should be it then. Everyone has an argument sometimes, it’s just normal.”

Q: In Bahrain, he beat you. Are you still winning against Seb in Badminton?

KR: ”We haven’t played for a long time. But the last time we did, approximately three years ago, Seb lost, that’s right.”

Q: Lotus team owner Gerard Lopez is assuming that you are staying with Lotus.

KR: ”It can be that he wants me to stay. In fact, I haven’t got a contract for next season yet. But things in Formula one can turn around fast. Honestly: I just don’t know what I will be doing next year yet. Ask me again in six months.”

Q: You told the Bild newspaper that you want to return to a top team. At RedBull Racing, Mark Webber’s spot will likely be available. And Dietrich Mateschitz wants you.

KR: ”I don’t know what you want from me! Here at Lotus, we are winning races. That’s enough. It doesn’t matter that we are spending less money than the other top teams here at Lotus as long as I am winning. But once again: I don’t know what happens next year. For now, I am trying to get the maximum out of the season. Then I will make the right decision for me. I am not wasting my thoughts on the future. And I’m not worried about finding a seat. I can live without Formula One, too.”

Q: Then why are you sitting here with us and doing an interview?

KR: ”Because Formula One is motorsport on the highest level. And according to that, there will always be days like this, when I have to do a lot of boring interviews.”

Q: Currently, you’re 2nd in the championship. Are you able to win the title against Sebastian Vettel?

KR: ”It’s true: At the moment we’re doing pretty well pretty often. But that doesn’t guarantee the championship. The second place in Bahrain was good, but it doesn’t help when Seb keeps winning all of the time. We have to find something else.”

Q: What would a second World Championship title mean to you?

KR: ”A second title would be nice, but it wouldn’t make me happier. The most important thing is to be satisfied with yourself.”


Q: What is so special about your right foot that your tires last longer?

KR: ”It isn’t just my foot. It’s a combination of the driver and the car. My Lotus is gentle with the tyres and that makes it easier for me.”

Q: It seems that you’re happier at Lotus than that Ferrari or Mclaren.

KR: ”No you can’t say that. A team from Italy is complete different to one from England. I had a good time everywhere.”

Q: You aren’t showing that at all. Are you going to laugh in the basement? (German proverb, I don’t know how to translate it properly. It means, that you won’t show your humoristic side to all people)

KR: ”I don’t show the real me in Formula One. Most of the people are behaving differently at work and in private.”

Q: While listening to your team radio, one could get the opinion that you aren’t getting along well with your engineer…..

KR: ”Yes, but you can only listen to a small piece of it. Of course, we have different opinions at some times. It seems that i’m yelling at him all the time, but that comes with the loudness. Inside the car it’s terribly loud.”

Q: You are a big James Hunt Fan. Are you going to watch the new movie about him and Niki Lauda?

KR: ”Yes, I will. In these times, Formula One was just pure racing. Motorsport how it should be. Not so much talking about it. I like that.”

17 thoughts on “Raikkonen exclusive – Sportbild interview

  1. Reblogged this on [Another] KiRaidesu no Sekai and commented:
    Very good article to read.

    The journalists really love to pushed Kimi with stupid questions, though they might known how he will react.

    Happy to see good relationship between Kimi and Seb. They are like brothers 🙂

    Love Kimi forever and ever~~


  2. I must be perfectly honest now with you guys: Kimi sounds like he believes he is completely untouchable, aloof. He doesn’t seem to have any respect for anyone, but everyone should watch out for the great Iceman, and that includes signing contracts.

    Even seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher wasn’t as arrogant.

    Remember, Kimi only one the world championship way back in 2007 by 1 POINT. He should really come straight back down to planet earth.


    1. Hmmm… I think you’re misunderstanding Kimi here. Just because he can live without F1, doesn’t mean he thinks he’s better than everyone. It just proves how cool-headed he is. To Kimi, the most important thing are his family and friends. Not his image in F1.

      Like he said, “the most important thing is to be satisfied with yourself.” That just rings of a highly secure and mature adult. Nothing arrogant about it.

      It was his childhood dream to become a world champion. He achieved it. He is happy with what he has achieved. Remember McLaren let him down on two occassions with unreliable cars, he would’ve been a 2-time champion even before joining Ferrari. But he’s back in F1 because he loves racing and wants to win. He isn’t here to prove anything to anyone. He just wants to enjoy what he loves, without all the bullshit the media keep throwing at him.

      He shows the utmost respect for his teams, is always professional at work, never badmouths about a single driver. He doesn’t question anyones intelligence or reason.

      Saying Schumacher wasn’t arrogant as Kimi is laughable, sorry Leonardo. Kimi is aloof in spotlight because that’s how he chooses to deal with fame. Some people embrace it, love it, demand respect just because of it and are hungry for more. That’s arrogance. Kimi is on the opposite end.


      1. Fact of the matter is that Kimi believes he is untouchable, and if anyone tries to tell him otherwise – remember ‘Leave me alone. I know what I am doing’? – then he becomes irritated and annoyed. Lotus have learnt to let him be, otherwise they know they will have to deal with his volatility. It’s the best they can do, and Kimi anticipates it.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying he’s not a brilliant driver; it’s just that Kimi believes – quite wrongly – that his indifferent attitude toward the public at large, including his fan base, is a given and should be respected. But at the same time, it’s clearly given him the image of always being remote and detached, free of any real emotion or feeling, with no real connection with the very people who come out in numbers to watch him on any given Sunday.

        Kimi clearly lives up to his designated name, ‘ICEMAN’.


  3. Fact of the matter is that Kimi believes he is untouchable..on what base you could come up with this?


  4. I get what you’re saying Leonardo, but I don’t agree that you’re saying Kimi himself think’s he’s untouchable lol The whole “leave me alone” thing was just a driver getting irritated at constant radio messages when he’s doing the job anyway. That doesn’t indicate he doesn’t appreciate the team or need their help at other times.

    Trust me, I also wish he was a bit more engaging with the fans. But he’s just not into participating in a circus. Once you get in, it’s really hard to get out. You get yourself in more shit too.

    Maybe Kimi is really stubborn and doesn’t want to change to please others. Why should he anyway? He’s happy. The people who actually work him have nothing but praise for him too.


    1. Not participating in a circus? Come on, lets face it, Bernie’s roadshow is exactly that: A big, noisy circus! People come from all over to see action, to see entertainment – just like the rest of us watching at home want to see.
      Then the camera zooms to Kimi, and he turns away or stares blankly at it – or even better, keeps his visor down. Others wave, but Raikkonen just sits – ICE COLD. Almost seems he doesnt want to be there.
      C’mon now! Hes not racing without getting paid, or told hes to be fired! Then why the attitude? What has Kimi got that the rest in the field dont have?


  5. one of the things i’v been impressed with is Lotus’s way they have dealt with marketing itself and Kimi, Kimi being famously known as very unmarketable but Lotus embrace this and use it as their differentiating factor to set themselves apart from the other teams.

    One must remember that when kimi’s old mclaren race engineer, mark slade, heard kimi was joining lotus he also moved there, and was given a more senior position but from what i hear he and kimi work closely, the guy kimi told to leave him him alone is now race engineer to webber… that 7 points vettel got from malaysia is not looking bad now


  6. Leonardo, you need to look at the matter from a different perspective to understand why. Some people just don’t like people contact – but for some odd reason usually they are very open minded when you actually get into their inner circle. On other hand there are plenty of people who are social, but do not provide anything of substance when you get to know them.

    People are different and they do things differently. There is a reason why when Kimi does his strange things people view it differently as to when Vettel comes as an awkward fake when he drop his lines sometime. But then again I’d assume Vettel is a different person while off camera, to me he is just trying too hard to please everyone when on camera and not being himself.

    I would rather see 22 different personalities driving in F1, rather than 22 clones playing a corporate game and giving us lessons of social etics.


    1. As I said, Kimi is probably the best driver out there. But that is not what I am questioning. Im questioning why he is so detached. I understand also that all 22 drivers are different – in a way that is good news – but non of them insills doubt quite as Kimi does. Journalists are wary to ask him this or that and likewise his team have to leave him alone so as to avoid a confrontation with him.
      As I have mentioned before, Kimi has established this aura to be the ICEMAN, but at the same time he has made everyone incredibly wary of him. Which is exactly why I love the races in China and Japan because his fans there dont give a damn what he may think of them. Then we see the REAL Raikkonen…


      1. It might be a combination of being introvert and bad experience with the press or just Formula 1 politics in general. He was forced out. Alan Jones also was ready to give up Formula 1 if he only had a choice of driving for Surtees.

        He of course can be plain rude, but I don’t hear report what would indicate that, unless they are journalist asking him about F1 :))))


  7. Before I get crucified because of my comments about Kimi and how detached he is, let me just say again what I have said previously:

    KIMI IS THE BEST DRIVER TODAY. END OF STORY. And regardless of what his personality makes him out to be, he still has many fans – INCLUDING MYSELF.


  8. kimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii


  9. Leonardo: after reading your comments I get the feeling that you think Kimi is very agressive. That people are afraid of a confrontation with him and therefore stay away. This is not the case at all. I’d dare to say that it’s more likely that people try to not have a confrontation with Alonso, as he is such a diva, than with Kimi.

    If there is one thing Kimi does have great respect for, it’s when people tell the truth and say exactly what they think (one reason why he likes Sebastian Vettel so much).
    People who think they are the center of the world rarely accept other people’s opinions.
    And you are reading way too much in to the “leave me alone” quote and I find it pretty silly to mirror all of Kimi into one random quote.

    I’ve met Kimi a few times and he is a very typical Finnish guy (as I am Finnish myself I can say so). He is on the shy side and prefers to stay back and observe instead of being the center of the attention. Which I find admirable as he is by far the biggest superstar in my country.
    He has a wicked sense of humor and great loyalty to his closest friends who are very protective of him. He speaks totally differently when he speaks Finnish and it’s quite evident that a big part of his misunderstood image is due to his poor language skills. I’m sure that if he was more confident in properly understaning the questions asked and being able to answer them easily, he’d be more willing to speak publicly. He does give good and relaxed interviews to the Finnish media in his own language.

    The man loves to compete. It’s what makes him tick. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it goes fast and is preferably a competition.
    The only reason he drives in F1 is because it’s the ultimate level of competing with the best tools to do so.
    And I totally agree with Kimi, who on many occasions has said that Formula 1 used to be about the racing, but now is only about politics and the media circus and he’d prefer if it was more about the racing.
    I find it admirable that in this world, where everyone wants to be a celebrity, there is one man who just wants to drive the car and win.


    1. Great description of Kimi! 🙂


  10. So Many Vettel-related question, not that I complain about it. Hope he will bounce back this year and challenge for the WDC. better work fast to settle the car for him.Once he is settled He is very quick in the race


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