It is Friday – the day off for Kimi Räikkönen during the preseason testing – but, however, the Finnish star of Ferrari arrives to the paddock of Montmelo. You can read from his face he is in sunny mood and you can see everything is fine with the oldest driver of Formula One with 35 years of age.
Räikkönen arrives to have an interview with Turun Sanomat and he visited his fellow countrymen at Koiranen GP factory close to the circuit to see brand new Formula 4 cars of theirs, as well.
Exactly at the agreed time Nicoletta Baffoni, who is one Ferrari media serving people, leads Räikkönen to the interview at Ferrari motorhome. Let’s get down to the business.
Räikkönen became of a father of son Robin at January 27th.
While making an interview with Kimi in the autumn in Belgium, I asked, how it felt for him to become a father soon. Kimi sighed, he believed it won’t make his world go upside down.
How is it now? Has his world gone upside down?
“Well, it is such a new thing, that I have not been able to assimilate it fully, yet. Buy it is the greatest thing, and I presume there will be a lot more items for big joy to come. Of course, obviously, everything is brand new, and I have not been able to spend too much time at home, while we have been testing and working at the factory.”
“The main thing is, the boy is healthy, and the mother is healthy. The baby is still such a little, but for me it is the finest thing in the world, and I am so happy everything has gone so well.”
How different does it feel to race, while you are now a man with a bigger family?
“Well, we have not been racing so far,” Raikkonen corrects with a broad smile, “But, for sure, it will change quite a lot.”
While Kimi’s brother Rami got his first son, their father Matti Räikkönen brought a small GO Kart car to the hospital as a gift. Now there is not anymore grandpa Räikkönen bringing gifts.
“But there is already a mini-size crossbike to the boy. Antti Pyrhönen, the team of boss of our Motocross team, sent me a picture immediately, what kind of bike they have got for the boy,” smiled Raikkonen, who himself started his driving career witt small crossbikes.
Räikkönen owns a motocross team IceOne Husqvarna Factory Team and they started their season with a double win in MXGP class of the world championship series.
The sons of the Finnish racing drivers have become racing drivers, as well. It looks like Räikkönen is not able to avoid such a tradition to go on?
“I do not have anything against what the boy wants to do. He can decide that himself, what he likes the most. Obviously, we are not going to push him to any direction. I just hope, he would not end up here in the paddock – well, let him be in the paddock to see the race as time goes by, but not in the way, I would need to come back here myself to help him as racing driver.”
“The time will tell, what it will be for him. As long as he is happy, and is doing what he wants, it is the main thing for us,” Räikkönen says.
Räikkönen has a contract with Ferrari for this year and the team has an option for him for 2016. Have you ever been thinking, what you will do then, while Formula One is over for good for you?
“Most likely I will just be with the family. I do not have much more in my mind. Actually I have not been thinking of it, but I think, it is enough for me.”
Could you leave all the driving just like that at once?
“For sure, I can do that, I do not have any huge inch to carry on this for long. It is not my lfe. My life at home is just a normal life. I do this as my job, I like it a lot, but it is not such a thing, I could not leave behind me while I feel time is right.”
At Ferrari Räikkönen gets to the season with a remarkably better starting positions compared to the bad last year.
How about the atmosphere inside the team? Is it like you have with Lotus while you started there?
“For sure the things here at Ferrari are now much better compated to – let us say – last year. It makes things easier for all of us. What is better now, well, I would say it is the way how we do work together to the same direction.”
Is Sebastien Vettel the team mate you have liked the most during your career?
“For sure, he is the one that I get along ín the best way of them all. It is difficult to say more right now. We have not been working together too much so far, we have not been talking or sending sms too much. We have been together only a few days so far. While we start to go racing, it is different. But I can say, it is such a nice thing, he is here.”
How about after the first qualifying in Melbourne? Who ever is ahead of each other, does it affect to your mutual relationship?
“I do not believe that. Obviously, we try our very best to beat each other every time, but for us the main thing is to help the team up there, where it really belongs.”
“It is a strong fact I am rather in this team, although I would be second or tenth than to get higher position somewehere else. There will be the day to come, we will win again! I would not change to anywhere else.”
[ Source: ts.fi | Written by Heikki Kulta ]