J: 17 october 1979: the man in front of me was born. 35 years of what?
K: Just life. Of course races have taken most of the part since i was a kid, but since 2001 F1 has become my job and it’s what i want to do. But at first, it was some kind of hobby, but it’s still a big part of my life.
J: You come from Espoo, a town near to Helsinki. What kind of city is Espoo?
K: It was a nice place to live. We could do a lot of stuff, because it was not a big city. I liked and i still like to live there instead of Helsinki, which is a big city, chaotic.
J: Is it true that in you first house, the bathroom was placed outside the house?
K: Yes, yes it’s true. We had the bathroom outside the house, but now we have it inside. Since i started to race in F1 we could restructure the house, and now we have the toilette, the shower and also the Sauna inside, downstairs. But until 2000 the toilette was still outside.
J: How were those days? I mean, going outside to go to the toilette, in Finland??
K: For me it was normal, because it was what we were used to to do since ever. For other people was not normal in the winter, but was only 15 metres, short way to go, really. Do it in the winter, with so much snow, helped you to wake up (laugh). For me was not a problem, because it was normal for us.
J: I know your family was not wealthy, a lot of sacrifices from your father to make you racing. He also had to take 4 jobs at the same time.
K: My father spent a lot of nights not sleeping, he worked a lot and he managed to get a loan from the banks. For sure, there has been some critical moments for my family, it was hard for them. When you’re young you don’t really understand how things are going on, how to find the money to buy food, or try to make us racing. I am really grateful to my parents for this, and also the people that helped us when we were kids. Luckily everything was okay.
J. Are you happy to build your own family, too?
K: Yeah, I’ve always dreamt about this, like my brother. I’ve always wanted a son, but of course I’d like to stay at home as much as possible once he’s born. Because when you’re travelling and he’s so young, you don’t see him, you cannot spent some time with him. If you travel a lot in his first 10 years, i don’t think it’s the best thing for him. In my family, the one i have now, i hope everything is going to be okay, and of course the most important thing is that the child is well.
J: Do you know that the first one you impressed was Michael Schumacher at Mugello? He asked “Who’s that guy running in Mugello?” and they told him Kimi Raikkonen and he said “He will become someone important in F1”.
K: Was obviously a big thing doing a F1 test, and it was good there were some other cars, to have comparison of the time on the track. It was also good to see Schumacher on the track in that occasion.
J: You did only 23 official races before coming in F1. Did you feel ready?
K: We did quite a bit testing both with old and new car before the start of the season. So, i was not really worried, i was not thinking if i was ready or not, i did so many days of test, that i knew it wouldn’t be a problem. It was different from now, and it was really easier to test the cars in those days.
J: What did it mean for you winning the championship in 2007?
K: Drive the Ferrari and win the title in the first year was something special. We will remember this forever, and we know that we will be in history. I would have liked to win more championships in the past, or maybe in the future. It was something that i wanted to do, at least one always aiming. I was very close to win others against Schumacher and then Alonso, and finally got it was a great feeling. Was a difficult season, not easy at all but we suprised everyone and we did it.
J: Few year later you decide to leave F1. Were you really that bored? You’re a driver, you love racing. Was there something you didn’t like anymore at that time?
K: Obviously in 2009 there was something happened. I thought that i was driving worse than in the past. We got some results, but we didn’t have a good car in that season. Things that happened put me out from F1, but i didn’t wanna go to another team, in that moment was not the right thing to do, and i was also a bit tired of all the politics and all…don’t know how to say, but there are a lot of bullshits in F1, you know. It’s difficult to get some honesty from people, and this is something that i really don’t like. I wanted to do something else, i was happy to leave to try new experiences. I tried with rally and also with Nascar.
J: Do you think you can go for other seasons, or in you mind there is already something that says to you that you will retire soon?
K: I have a contract for next year, and an option for 2016, but this depends from a lot of circumstances. My aim is to try to fix things, and i am sure that next year we will back where we are supposed to stay and we will fight to win. Hopefully i can make other seasons, but if it’s not happening we will see. It’s not the end of my life, i’ve never thought that my life was only F1, there are a lot of more things in my life.
J: We had this interview with the 5 world Champions. We called the FIVE CLUB: Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Button and you. Who you think is the toughest of these guys?
K: If you look every year, there was a different one more or less. These drivers are always there, to fight, depends a lot from the car you have and a lot of more situations.
J: I know that you have a good relationship with Sebastian Vettel, something different from what it’s usual between drivers. Why is so easy, it’s something regarding his personality? You think good about him? Or you two get along….?
K: I don’t know, I met him when he was very young and when he arrived in F1. I talked with him in some occasions, and i thought he was a good and honest guy. Unfortunately honesty is something very difficult to find in F1, you know, and i’ve always get along with him, in the track, sometimes i gave him some lifts, at the beginning of his career, because we lived close to each other. He’s just a normal guy, we always find each other like this, easily, easy to talk, no stupid things, no not necessary things. There isn’t really any reason, it’s just that our relationship is easier compared to relationships with others.
J: Are you happy that he’s coming in Ferrari?
K: I mean, it will be fun, we will have a good relationship and try to do our best, to push the team forward, to put the team in the place where it should be.
J: It seems, from this interview, that one of the most important value for you is honesty, is it?
K: Unfortunately sometimes there are people that don’t say the truth, and you know they are lying and in your face say exactly the opposite. I don’t have respect for this kind of things. For sure everything can be more easy and more nice in F1, but of course it’s a part of the sport, because there are lot of money going around, and will always bring this kind of things into the place, so…
J: I give you the chance to ride on a time machine. The first question is: in which era you would like to live and who, if you have any idea?
K: Talking about the world race, I would like to be in the 70’s or about. There were real races, cars funny to drive, was more nice, less politics. Was a F1 more open, more relaxed, everybody were focused on pushing at 100%.
J: Only one more question: Kimi Raikkonen today is?
K: The same guy.
| Video: Wait & See | Translation: highlightsandflames.tumblr.com |