Interview in Porkkala
Curvy, sandy roads lead us to the huge gate in Porkkala. We announce our coming and the gate opens. An incredible view appears in front of us: The Gulf of Finland shines brightly in the sunshine and the fancy villa the Räikkönens bought two years ago, can be seen in the end of the asphalt road, it stands stylish on the rock. Right next to the sea there’s a finnish sauna, and a couple of boats and jetskis.
Kimi Räikkönen, 25, and Jenni Dahlman-Räikkönen, 23, who have just got back from the Hungary GP on the day before, welcome the guests with open arms. Jenni, dressed in jeans and a shirt, has already had time to go horseback riding that day. Kimi has just been sprawling and thinking of the last weekend’s tasty victory at Hungaroring. He laughs that he hasn’t even had a toast for the victory since there has been so many other things to do. Kimi, walking with bare feet and dressed in jeans, throws a charming smile on his face. He’s in a great mood. A year ago Kimi was standing on the most important pole of his life. He was waiting, little nervously but standing straight, on the altar for his fiancee Jenni Dahlman. The altar had been made of a huge ice block for the wedding in Vanajanlinna’s garden. When ”the Iceman” saw his future wife walking towards him, his face was shining. Luckily the ceremony didn’t last too long. Otherwise the ice altar would have melted of Kimi’s smile in front of over 100 guests.
After the priest had said ”amen”, Jenni became Dahlman-Räikkönen. The couple’s life continued as a married couple. A year has passed and there has happened a lot. Actually, more than in during an average married couple’s whole life! Beside GP victories, there has been also disappointments on the F1 tracks but Kimi has learnt to deal with them like a grown up man. Of course he has left the track being furious and without saying a word to anyone. Also that shows maturity: it’s better to say nothing than take the anger out. Then there has been those other harming things. Kimi and Jenni’s vacations and nights out has been documented in media all around the world. The things which have grown huge and sometimes even totally fake rumours have been bothering. Kimi and Jenni have been commenting on them sometimes but most of the times they have let the rumours live their own life.
Now they’re in Finland because the F1 circus is on 3 weeks break. Nearly two years ago bought Porkkala’s villa has been used a lot by the couple itself and their friends. The appartment in the centre of Helsinki the couple uses mostly in winter. During the holiday in Finland Kimi and Jenni can be seen also in night life. Kimi has always aimed to live like a normal young guy: the couple wants to go out with their friends. In the normal circumstances that wouldn’t be a big deal but because Kimi is a world-famous celebrity, his every move is followed very carefully. “Now also I’m getting my share of that”, Jenni laughs, meaning the secret pics which have been published of her. At first, Kimi didn’t think how and where he was celebrating but now he has learnt that he cannot walk on the streets without peope recognizing him. “Maybe in ten years I can have a bit more of my own privacy when I’m not driving anymore, just being on holiday”, Kimi points out.
Many people have noticed that Räikkönen has changed. In the press-conferences he talks long these days, he has got sureness to his voice. In a few press-conferences he has shown his humour talents as well. The team boss Ron Dennis has praised that Kimi is great at handling situations. After the success and disappointments Kimi has got new kind of sureness to himself. “Yeah, disappointments in the races do build character”, Kimi laughs and calls their 11-months-old pet, to come to him. After the Hungary GP, Kimi’s dream of winning the worldchampion title have rised to the top again. Also Jenni-wife believes in her husband. “You have to hold on your dreams. You cannot give up. If Kimi wins the next races and Fernando Alonso gets no points from two races, it’s clear”, Jenni counts while we walk around the lovely garden. “That’s true, we haven’t lost anything yet”, Kimi nods.
We move inside to the beautiful house. The terraces in downstairs open up to the sea. Somewhere further away the ships are sailing towards Stockholm. The view is just like from a postcard. The young couple sits on the white, cosy sofa in the living-room. “Of course Kimi’s retirements, especially when you know that they were not his fault. He has got so huge fire for the title that I don’t think no one really realizes that. He loves his job nearly as much as he loves me Jenni”, says and winks. Kimi leaves to the next race in Istanbul, tasting the victory in his mouth. “We don’t do anything special on holiday. Drive with jetski’s, sailing, go to sauna and hang out with friends. We also love to cook together”, Kimi reveals. It’s been a year since the couple’s wedding day. “Day by day, living together feels better and love feels stronger”, they admit. During the marriage the nasty rumours have caused problems but those things have been talked over at home.
“In the beginning of our relationship the mean and unreal articles bothered us but now we just let them be. We don’t even bother to read them anymore. A human cannot live like that he follows what papers write about him. That’s not healthy”, Kimi sniffs. When Kimi met the beautiful Jenni Dahlman in autumn 2001, it was love at the first sight. And that love hasn’t faded away, it’s other way around, it has got stronger and stronger. “Jenni is the woman of my life”, says Kimi who rarely speaks of his private life and feelings openly. During the years they have spent together their lives have grown together very well. In the beginning they travelled to the races together but then Jenni suggested that she’d like to continue her riding hobby which she found when she was younger. Kimi took Jenni’s wish very well. The husband bought his wife three horses: Liber, MC Kinley and Caland.
“I practise nearly every day and I try to compete as often as possible. Of course I also try to be with Kimi in the races as much as I can”, Jenni tells. “Of course I support my wife. You can see the passion in Jenni for her own sport. The same passion which I have for racing. Although, I do have more horsepower”, Kimi jokes. Because of her hobby, Jenni hasn’t been able to come to every race. At first, Kimi was a bit sad about it but he understood that he had to let her wife to express herself. “It’d be nice if Jenni could come with me. At nights in the hotel room it can get really boring when you are alone. Of course I can talk with her on the phone. She knows me better than anyone else and understands how I feel”, Kimi admits.
“The last races I’ll try to travel with Kimi. Although Turkey GP happens to be at the same time as the fashion week but together we’ll fight of the world-champion title”, Jenni says. The life in Porkkala seems very blissful. Their villa has been decorated with white and brownish furnitures. There’s enough space to have kids as well. “All in good time”, the couple grins.