The Finnish government has never before appointed anyone as an Ambassador for Sport, but it did so at a Sport Gala, held in Helsinki on Tuesday 17 January.
The recipient was none other than Kimi Raikkonen, who received the honour from Prime Minister Juha Sipila. Kimi’s presence at the gala had been kept secret right up until the last moment.
Kimi Raikkonen: “I’m not that used to making formal speeches. But I would like to wish all the best to the winners in every category, as well as those who missed out on the prizes this year. I would stress how important it has been in my case to have the support of my family and help from trustworthy colleagues and the people within the Ferrari Team, with whom I have worked for so many years now.”
In 2017, Finland celebrates the centenary of its independence.
Translation: “I want to congratulate all who got awarded today and all who didn’t. This is a great honour to get awarded. For whole my career I’ve had the pleasure of working with good people and good teams. Right now I’m working in one of the world’s best companies (Ferrari) and teams. The biggest thing for me (in my life) has been the ability to do all the thing my way. Sometimes there have been some mishaps. But all and all I’ve believed in my own thing and did just that. You don’t always have to do things like your neighbour does them. Sometimes doing things your own way gets you success.”
Kimi Raikkonen was one of the lucky guests to be invited to Istanbul, Turkey, for the FIA Gala prize giving ceremony. Along with 3x World Champion Sebastian Vettel and runner up Fernando Alonso, Raikkonen received his trophy for 3rd place in the 2012 Formula One Championship. Check out last night’s photos in the gallery.
KR: “It was a good year for us but of course you always want to do better – you want to win, but I think people didn’t expect us to do even this well, so like I said, not exactly what we wanted in the end but it was a good year overall and something that we can hopefully build to do better next year.”
Video: Highlights including Kimi quotes, Vettel meeting and talking with Kimi during the presentation
The star-studded FIA Gala in Monaco capped another memorable season in
the FIA Formula One World Championship. It was not going to be easy to
surpass last season’s excitement, with a three-way title showdown at
the final race, but that is exactly what happened with McLaren-Mercedes
driver Lewis Hamilton taking the drivers’ championship on the final lap.
Lewis Hamilton said: “This
year has been a very special one in my life – the fulfilment of a dream
I’ve had since childhood and an ambition that has taken my family and
me on an amazing journey.
“The fact that I won the Drivers’
World Championship on the very last lap of the very last race is
something that makes me so proud of our efforts in 2008; we pushed to
the limit on every single lap, from Melbourne to Brazil – and it’s that
determination and spirit that ultimately won us the world title.
always very rewarding to receive recognition for all the work you put
into the season, and the FIA Prize Giving Gala in Monte-Carlo is of
course the fitting venue at which to celebrate all our efforts before
we push ahead into 2009.”
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa could not have
come closer to winning the championship and was justifiably proud of
the role he played in a highly competitive season.
Felipe Massa said: “This
has been an incredibly closely contested season, which produced an
amazing final. When you lose the world title by a single point, having
had it in your grasp for a handful of seconds, it would be easy to take
it badly. But I prefer to look to the future and to see things in a
“I won six races and played my part in the
team taking the Constructors’ Championship, which I know is so
important for Ferrari. We are already looking to a new season and I
will do my utmost to come back here to Monaco next year to claim the
prize which today has gone to Lewis.”
His teammate Kimi Raikkonen was unable to retain the title he won last year but vowed to return stronger next season.
Raikkonen said: “I would have preferred to be here collecting the World
Champion’s trophy for a second consecutive time, but this year, things
did not go my way. The season got off to a good start, but then, for
various reasons, the situation got complicated and by the time we were
back on form, it was already too late.
“However, we learnt
some valuable lessons which will come in useful next year. I am happy
that Ferrari won, confirming its position as world champion: it’s an
exceptional team that never gives up.”
Massa and Raikkonen
ensured that Ferrari took the Constructors’ Trophy for the second
successive season and Stefano Domenicali was delighted to collect the
prize in his first year as team director.
Stefano Domenicali said:
am honoured to be here, at the end of my first year in charge of the
team, to collect the Constructors’ Trophy that goes to the World
Championship-winning team. This is the 16th time in Scuderia Ferrari’s
history and the eighth in the last ten years that we have won this
award and it comes courtesy of all the hard work, passion and
determination put in by everyone at Maranello.
and thanks go to each and every one of them, for what they were able to
achieve, to our drivers and also to Ferrari President, Luca di
Montezemolo, who along with Jean Todt, chose me to fill this role. He
has always given his support, especially during the most difficult
Those screenshots are all of what was shown about Kimi. It seems Kimi wasn’t present at the ceremony this evening, or that hardly any pictures were taken of him, oh well! But you can download the 8 minute long video in the forum and talk about it! I personally think the 2008 Gala review isn’t that great, but it’s an improvement from last year, probably because there was more action perhaps.
[Update 13th Dec] Kimi was there after all! Apparently he just arrived late, just in time for a photograph with his trophy. And there was a Where’s Wally kind of search going on, we couldn’t find him until someone spotted Toni Vilander (Kimi’s close friend who won the GT Championship this year) smiling/laughing with ‘someone’ hidden, look at the top right corner of the group photo. I just find that hilarious. Kimi!!!!! You’re messing with our heads! Late, as usual! Hiding right at the back. Gosh I love that man. See more Kimi pictures here.
Regarding the 2008 review clip – Too much hot babe rubbish going on though, as usual, so no surprise there. The start of the video was just
confusing. The Senna quotes, him speaking over images of his career and Lewis’s, what’s that got to do with
Lewis? Okay, Lewis always brags on about Senna being his idol.
Whatever. It was nice to hear Senna though, the clips of him were
lovely. Some bits of the review were good, only the first half after
the intro was good (they copied the techno music from me!?) The babe/glamour stuff is getting so old and rubbish
now, what a load of tosh!
The only thing I did like was the build up of news flashes and media
buzz about the finale at Brazil and also the Spa recap, as it showed probably the best
racing action of the season (and not just because it was Kimi, it
literally was the best racing of the year in my opinion) The Singapore sequence
was good too. But the rest wasn’t much (half of the
Brazil race stuff was straight from their race highlight clip on the F1 website), and I
hated especially the part of the finale with Lewis’s Pussycat doll screaming her
head off again. Puh-lease. At least they made up for it with the part where Hamilton won, and the
after scenes were good, with Massa on the podium. The Pyscho theme over Massa’s family celebrating was funny! I think they did a good job, nonetheless. Nevermind what I think, what do you guys think?
The star-studded FIA Gala in Monaco was a fitting finalé for a dramatic season in the FIA Formula One World Championship. Not since 1986 has the championship hosted a three-way title showdown at the final round, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen taking the title in a thrilling finish.
Raikkonen said: “I am very happy to be here to receive this trophy that comes with winning the World Championship. This has always been my goal and I am particularly pleased to have achieved it in my first year with Ferrari, which is a fantastic team of people who are extraordinary, both professionally and from the human point of view.
“This victory is the result of the efforts of a group that never threw in the towel, even when all seemed lost. I also want to thank my family, my wife Jenni and everyone who has been close to me since the start of my career.”
The constructors championship was won by Ferrari, its seventh title in nine years. The trophy was gratefully accepted by Ferrari CEO Jean Todt. He said:
“It is a pleasure and an honour to be here today to celebrate our successes in the two Championships, which came at the end of a very unusual year. After the Japanese Grand Prix, we would never have believed that we would be attending this evening as world champions. But the bravura and talent of the team and drivers, along with a small helping hand from fate, means we are here in this guise to celebrate a fantastic season for Ferrari, embellished with nine wins and a world champion in the shape of the great driver that is Kimi Raikkonen, who has taken the title in his first year with the Scuderia.”
The ASN trophy goes to the association with the most driver points during the season. This year the award went to the AKK-Motorsport, the Finnish automobile sport federation.
Kari O. Sohlberg, AKK President, said:
”It is fantastic to receive this award, especially as it is a first for Finland. We are a small country population-wise, but have proven to be a great nation in automobile sport. For the Finnish Federation the award is of especially great significance, since the two drivers – Kimi Räikkönen and Heikki Kovalainen – who are responsible for this achievement, were members of the federation’s Coaching Programme during their junior years.”
Video: Kimi Receives World Championship Trophy
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Video: FIA Gala of 2007
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