This video is from the Spanish GP 2008. Poor Kimi was asked a mean question about Alonso while he was sitting right next to him!
Damon Hill believes Kimi Raikkonen has “a couple more world championships” in him, and reckons returning to the sport at the age of 32 should not be a problem for the Finn.
Raikkonen left Formula 1 at the end of the 2009 season to compete in the World Rally Championship, but he will make his comeback next year after signing a two-year deal with the Lotus Renault team. Raikkonen, regarded as one of the quickest drivers of his era, won the title in 2007 with Ferrari and has 18 grand prix victories to his name. Former world champion Hill thinks Raikkonen’s return is good for Formula 1, and he believes the Finn can still be champion again.
“It is great – and good luck to him,” Hill told AUTOSPORT. “He is going to have to show that he has still got it, which he has got a good team to show that in, and he is still young. “He has won a world championship already, and I had only just got into F1 at his age, so he has definitely got a couple of more world championships in him.”
“I don´t know…”. Kimi Räikkönen starts the interview in his usual way. When asked how serious his relationship with Hanna Raivisto is, he goes all quiet.
“There hasn’t been any need to talk about cheating and stuff, because we just have to trust each other” says Hanna when Kimi remains quiet. The beautiful girl from Helsinki takes the situation under control, even though she said in the beginning she won’t say a thing. When you walk on the pit-lane during a GP weekend you see a lot of “PitBabes”, and the drivers can’t avoid seeing them. For the younger drivers, these girls can be quite a tease. The quiet, gentleman like, Kimi doesn’t care about these ladies.
“There aren’t as many girls as you think” he says. “Yeah. And don’t they paid for just walking around?” says Hanna. Sitting in the VIP- area of Talma GolfCenter the couple says there aren’t any jealous feelings between them. But sometimes they too feel some jealousy.-“I guess everyone feel that way sometimes”, Kimi admits. Hanna and Kimi have been going out for a couple of years. Everything started on a blind date arranged by Kimi’s cousin and his girlfriend. The message board on Kimi’s official site is full of rumors about Kimi and Hanna getting married.
“Nice to hear about such things!” Hanna says with a little laugh. “We haven’t planned anything like that”, Kimi convinces in his usual, calm way. Hanna travels with Kimi as much as possible. As she graduated from High School last spring, and takes a year off from her studies, she’s now able to travel more than usual. For the time being, the couple can’t see each other in a week because Hanna is on vacation with her friends. Kimi enjoys staying at his relatives’ summer cottage near Lahti, now when the F1-circus takes a summer break. He likes fishing very much.
“I went fishing with Mika (Häkkinen). I got a really big fish!”, he says with his eyes full of excitement. Soon after his first season in F1 started, he moved to Switzerland with Hanna. The tight schedule doesn’t really leave much time to stay at home though. In the small town of Hinwil (near Zürich) in their luxury house, they get a taste of what family-life is like. “We do equal amounts of chores”, Hanna says.
“Yeah, and the one who has time takes out the garbage” Kimi continues. The great income of a F1-driver makes living together easier, but doesn’t change it radically. “Of course it’s nice to have enough money, but on the other hand it would be nice to walk on the streets without being recognized”, Kimi says. The couple says they spend their free-time “just like everyone else”. Kimi doesn’t spend a lot of money, but awaits his new black BMW he just ordered with excitement. And does the young, soon-to-be-a millionaire buy loads of presents to his girlfriend? “Well, actually I haven’t” he says, and sounds a bit shocked. Kimi eats his kebab, and tries to tear apart the cap of a soda bottle. He avoids eye-contact, and doesn’t speak very much.
Dark-haired Hanna seems to be a bit annoyed by this. Most people are well aware of the fact that Kimi isn’t very talkative. His comments are a bit weird sometimes, and he’s shy in front of the camera. But people who know him better, say Kimi is fun to hang around with, and that he loves joking.
“I haven’t been told how to act in interviews”, Kimi says. “I actually don’t like it when people tell me ‘Do this, do that’. But if someone gives me good pieces of advice, it’s ok” he says and displays a shy smile. Kimi has driven 620 laps, 3000 kilometers, picked up nine points and a lot of experience during his first season in F1. Kimi is a real sensation, and nobody expected him to do this well. If he now starts driving worse and making mistakes, people might say negative things about him.
“If someone criticizes you, you just have to tolerate it. But of course it wouldn’t be nice” he sighs. If he fails in anything he does, he doesn’t think about it anymore the next day. Kimi doesn’t take too seriously everything blabbermouth Eddie Irvine says. “He can say whatever he likes. I’ve been talking to him a couple of times, and he seems like a funny dude.”
“Iltasanomat” met Kimi and Hanna on Friday (August 3rd 2001) in Talma GolfCenter when there was a press conference where Kimi told about his partnership with “Finnair”. Kimi and Hanna didn’t want to pose for a pic together, even though they got interviewed together. They avoided getting in front of the camera together as Kimi always walked meters in front of Hanna. There are loads of things going on in places like Monaco, Canada and Hungary. The shy Finn believes he’ll manage in the world of F1-glamour. He admits though that he sometimes gets confused about different things. “But I’m not totally out of it.”
From: Iltasanomat 3.08.2001
What record did Finnish ice hockey team the Espoo Blues set during the 2007/2008 season? How many Grand Prix did James Hunt win during his Formula One career? How many times has Kaj Lindström competed in Rally Finland? And when did snowboarding become an Olympic sport?
These are just some of the questions we thought Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen would take in his stride after he agreed to be the latest participant in our personal trivia test, ‘Ask the Expert’(from formula1.com, August 2009).
Q: Just after you started in Formula One racing, which of your fellow drivers was quoted as saying “I am not afraid of Kimi, but he is definitely one of the strongest rivals I have come up against”?
Kimi Räikkönen: Michael.
Correct – it was indeed Räikkönen’s predecessor at Ferrari, Michael Schumacher.
Q: You were born in 1979. Which driver and which team took the F1 title that year?
Incorrect – it was Jody Scheckter and Ferrari.
Q: How many races did Marcus Ericsson win for your Raikkonen Robertson Formula Three team this year?
KR: He clinched two wins.
Q: You won the Formula Renault series in 2000. Can you remember by how many points?
Correct – Räikkönen scored 316 to Ryan Daziel’s 260.
Q: You’re a fan of Finnish ice hockey team, the Espoo Blues. During the 07/08 season they set a new team record. What was it?
KR: 12 wins in a row.
Q: On your Formula One debut at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix, you crossed the line seventh but were classified sixth. Why?
KR: Wasn’t it Panis who got a time penalty?
Correct – following the race, BAR’s Olivier Panis was handed a 25-second time penalty for a yellow flag infringement.
Q: Why was the 2003 European Grand Prix at the Nürburgring so special for you?
KR: My first pole position.
Q: How many world rally championship events has Marcus Grönholm won?
Incorrect – it’s actually 30.
Q: If the newspapers are to be believed, who is the only other sportsman to top your earnings?
KR: Tiger Woods.
Q: You made your World Rally Championship debut recently at Rally Finland. Who won the rally last year?
Correct – it was Sebastien Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena.
Q: In 1998 another Räikkönen made headlines in Finland. What for?
KR: I think his first name was Ville. But no idea what he did.
Call us generous but we think that deserves half a point – Ville Räikkönen won a bronze medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics for the sprint event in the Biathlon.
Q: You drove Rally Finland alongside Tommi Makinen’s former co-driver Kaj Lindstrom. How many times had Lindstrom previously competed in Rally Finland?
KR: Ten times?
Q: In 2008 Finland’s postal service celebrated your world championship by issuing a special sheet of stamps. They were released as part of a series to commemorate the postal service’s birthday, but which birthday?
KR: I don’t know.
Incorrect – it was the service’s 370th birthday.
Q: One of your favourite charities is SOS Children’s Village Finland. In which district did the charity set up its first village back in 1965?
KR: In Tapiola.
Q: You’re a firm fan of Walz Hardcore motorcycles. How long did it take to build your bespoke Iceman II bike?
KR: I think nobody has the right answer for that. I guess that normally it takes one year, but I got mine in 10 months.
Q: You have been known to use the pseudonym ‘James Hunt’ when entering non-F1 events. How many Grand Prix did Hunt win during his F1 career?
Q: You are one of eight Finns to have competed in Formula One racing. How many of the other seven can you name?
KR: Heikki, both Mikas, Keke, JJ, Kinnunen. One is missing, right. I have no idea who that was.
Correct on six counts – it was indeed Mika Hakkinen, Leo Kinnunen, Heikki Kovalainen, JJ Lehto, Keke Rosberg and Mika Salo. The driver Raikkonen couldn’t remember was Mikko Kozarowitzky.
Q: You are a keen snowboarder. When did snowboarding become an Olympic sport?
Q: Only one other Finn has raced for Ferrari – Mika Salo. What was his best result for the team?
KR: Second in Hockenheim in ’99.
Correct – at the German Grand Prix, deputising for Michael Schumacher.
Q: You have set the fastest race lap an amazing 35 times during your F1 career. Only two men have bettered that total. Can you name them?
KR: Michael and Prost.
Correct – Michael Schumacher (76) and Alain Prost (41).
Final score: 22.5 points from a possible 28
Ask the Expert rating: 80%
Current leader board:
1. Heikki Kovalainen – 86%
2. Mark Webber – 84%
3. Lewis Hamilton – 80%
3. Kimi Raikkonen – 80%
5. Kazuki Nakajima – 73%
6. Sebastien Buemi – 72%
7. Robert Kubica – 70%
8. Jenson Button – 69%
9. Giancarlo Fisichella – 68%
10. Nico Rosberg – 66%
11. Sebastian Vettel – 64%
11. Rubens Barrichello – 64%
13. Jarno Trulli – 58%
13. Timo Glock – 58%
15. Nick Heidfeld – 57%
16. Adrian Sutil – 54%
Kimi Räikkönen´s quiet confidence on track and party-friendly reputation away from the paddock makes for an interesting combination. We caught up with the Finn to find out a little more…
Q: Tell us something we don´t know about you?
A: I´ve got two dogs, Ajax and Pepe.
Q: Your favourite song for karaoke?
A: I´m not the best singer in the world, but I do like a couple of Finnish singers and bands.
Q: What´s the most unusual request you´ve had from a fan?
A: There have been so many weird requests that it would be better if we don´t print them.
Q: Funniest thing you´ve read about yourself in the press?
A: There have been many. Especially things where they say I was somewhere, doing something when in reality I was at the other side of the world.
Q: When you´re at home, what do you listen to when driving?
A: Mainly today´s hits and Finnish music.
Q: Best part of being a Formula One driver – apart from the driving?
A: The competition.
Q: Your most prized possession?
A: My wife and my Ferrari Enzo.
Q: What would you be if you weren´t a racing driver?
A: I would probably be a professional in hockey or some other sport.
Q: Person you most admire?
A: My parents.
Q: Last good deed you did?
A: Charity things in Finland.
Q: Who would you want to play you in a movie?
A: Somebody who stars in action films.
Q: Do you have any bad habits?
A: Biting my nails.
“For me, the ideal would be to drive in Formula 1 and enjoy a normal life”
When it comes down to it, who is Kimi Räikkönen? Perhaps the fastest driver in Formula One racing at the moment? Maybe, but he is still probably not going to take the 2005 Drivers’ World Championship, because his McLaren-Mercedes car has let him down too many times this season, while Fernando Alonso’s Renault keeps on going and delivers podium positions to its driver with Swiss-watch regularity.
Or is Räikkönen “Finland’s biggest A-list celeb”? Undoubtedly that, too. But this is a role Räikkönen would gladly surrender. The biggest star in Finnish sport right now? Probably, yes. Aki Hintsa, the personal physician to the 25-year-old from Espoo regards Räikkönen as a once-in-a-century find: a sporting gold nugget the size of your fist. “Räikkönen’s ability to conceptualise three-dimensional space is quite out of this world. His test results are off the chart, quite the best I have ever seen”, says Hintsa with more than an ounce of admiration in his voice.
Räikkönen just shrugs, however, as he sits in the pit area at the Spa track. He has no truck with test-results. “Aki is a doctor and he doesn’t know anything about driving”, laughs Räikkönen during our interview. “As long as I’m going fast in a car, I really don’t think too much about what it is I’m seeing.” This is nevertheless precisely the response Hintsa expected Räikkönen to offer up. “Kimi is very reluctant to draw attention to himself. However, he is incredibly observant.”
Räikkönen’s way of thinking is very straightforward. When the conversation turns to Alonso and to the fact many consider him [Räikkönen] to be the faster driver of the two, Räikkönen finds little consolation in this. “I want to win”, he says. “And if somebody other than me wins the Drivers’ World Championship, nothing that people think of me can change that. The driver who has the most points at the end of the season is the new champion. Simple as that.”
Räikkönen has been particularly disappointed in this season’s results. “Naturally I’m upset as I’m losing the title for a second time”, he says. “Currently the point margin is even bigger than it was in 2003. This year we had a car which could have potentially enabled us to win races and take the championship, whereas in 2003 the car wasn’t really competitive. However back then it was our reliability that allowed us to climb up the points. If anything, this year has been a bigger disappointment, considering all the potential we had back in March.”
One would think that Räikkönen’s public image is causing him even more grief than the probable failure to win the drivers’ title. Numerous stories of binges and “tired and emotional” behaviour have created an image of a driver who drinks at every opportunity. When Michael Schumacher commented at a press conference in Spa that he would like to have a drink with Räikkönen, the gathering of journalists burst out laughing as everybody pictured them both legless. Räikkönen is likely to carry the reputation of a heavy drinking driver for the rest of his driving career. But how does it make him feel? “At the beginning of my career I was very disappointed in the way the papers wrote about me. I still am, but I refuse to let it change my life. Even if the stories contain a grain of truth, they’re solely used to sell papers. I read the stories and laugh at them”, Räikkönen says.
“It doesn’t seem to matter what I have in my glass, as everybody always assumes I’m drinking alcohol. I’ve been in a nightclub on several occasions and behaved myself, but on the following morning I’ve read from the papers that I’ve been thrown out of this or that nightclub. Many people get bitter if I don’t sign autographs, and they know people who write these stories. However, I refuse to let these things destroy my life.”
Räikkönen has been a celebrity for five years, ever since he broke into Formula One as a much-hyped child prodigy. Yet somehow it seems that he still hasn’t quite accepted his status. Hence the question must be asked: when comparing your life with the lives of your friends out of the spotlight, are you tempted to swap places? “If I could choose, I’d be a normal person but I know it’s not possible”, Räikkönen replies. “In many ways it would be ideal if I could be an F1 driver but lead a normal life. When I go out with my wife or my friends there’s always somebody bothering me at the very moment I want to be left alone.”
Räikkönen doesn’t accept the claim that publicity is one of the very factors that make Formula One drivers the royalty of motor sports. “My life isn’t what the papers make it out to be”, Räikkönen states. “I still do things that I like and if the papers choose to write about them, well, let them do so.”
Räikkönen’s relationship with the media is precisely the same as with everything else he regards as irrelevant to his driving: he just tries to block it out of his mind. “However, there’s a limit to everything”, he says, and he is referring to a recent piece published in the German magazine AutoBild motorsportmagazine. The story claimed that Räikkönen was blind drunk and ran naked through the gardens of Monza during a test session at the Italian track.
The same story was also published in Finland, yet nobody seemed to think such behaviour would have been distinctly unlikely during a two-day stint testing his McLaren-Mercedes. “In this case the magazine ran the story without even bothering to find out if the rumours they heard had any truth to them”, Räikkönen says. “We’re thinking of suing the paper in order to put a stop to articles of this sort being published.”
From: Juha Päätalo (HELSINGIN SANOMAT) 2005
Kimi and I wish all Fans Merry Christmas!!
Two days before Christmas Eve in 2010, Matti Räikkönen, Kimi Räikkonen’s father, has passed away at the age of 56. Having been the most important person behind Kimi Räikkönen’s career, the news had a great impact on the former Formula 1 World Champion. Now one year later I hope that the family can enjoy Christmas, I really feel with them. =(
Here is a tribute I made for Matti one year ago:
It’s an interesting experience to be beside Paula Räikkönen and watch her follow Monaco qualification. Ask anyone from McLaren’s staff.
When Kimi appears in the plasma-television mother Räikkönen is twisting like she would have a cramp, she hardly breathes and she lives completely with every twitch the McLaren-car has. Paula Räikkönen confesses that occasionally she feels like she is in Kimi’s car and can feel in her pants how the car hits a bump. McLaren’s staff joke that they are almost more interested in following mother Räikkönen emphatizing with Kimi’s performance than they are with following the actual racing.
In Monaco the quali went well. It made the mother’s heart pound with joy. At home Paula and Matti Räikkönen watch Kimi’s races in separate rooms and from separate televisions. The reason for this is their different ways of following them. Mother emphatizes, just like in GP’s, while father Räikkönen looks at events analyzing them in a cold and cool way. It’s easy to determine from which one Kimi has inherited his calmness and coolness. But even Räikkönen’s temper boils over sometimes. When the car didn’t work in Barcelona’s quali at all Kimi was swearing in both English and Finnish in every corner. It’s good that there’s at least one place where he can complain when nothing works. Räikkönen wouldn’t even by accident critisise his car, engine or team in front of the media.
From: Turun Sanomat, Heikki Kulta, 23.5.2004
If Formula1 driver Kimi Räikkönen and his friends had in 5th of October 2001 decided to go party in to somewhere else than Vanajalinna, Finland might have one more model working actively. But Räikkönen was there and fastened his eyes on Jenni Dahlman, who was just about to hand over her crown to her successor.
The young love flared up. Only three weeks after the meeting Kimi flew with a helicopter to Jenni’s 20th birthday party in Turku, and only half a year after the meeting the 22 years old rising formula driver got engaged with his girl with a ring of white gold. Jenni’s studies in economics were still incomplete and after the Miss year there was no lack of job. But Jenni chose otherwise: she wanted to be near to her loved one and travelled with her husband from one pits to the next. Model’s job was offered to her on the pits too but she refused. Instead she said ”I do” to Kimi in the last day of July 2004. There have been gossips around Kimi and Jenni’s relationship from the beginning – due to that despite their status as celebrities they both have lived like anyone in that age who likes to party. But at least in public Kimi and Jenni have dismissed the rumors.
For sure we want childern!
Jenni tells of her everyday life and of her life with Kimi. She and Kimi love children – but it’s not quite yet time for them. Jenni Dahlman-Räikkönen has eaten her morning porridge in her home in Switzerland. The husband Kimi is on work somewhere around the world. Jenni drives from the couple´s home in Wollerau through the landscapes of Lake Zürich towards rent stable. There her horses Simon, Maximus, Athinus and Pedro happily crunch their oats. “My horses have a career but I ride an hour per day on each of them. I do not dream about Olympics even though I take this seriously. I can’t train entirely professional, for sure I want to be with my husband too and that means lots of traveling with him.” Jenni has been competing in show jumping for couple of years. Her next content with the four horses is Sun Shine Tour in southern Spain in the mid of February. Jenni flies to Jerez for five weeks. Horses will be transported there by car. “I’ll be in Spain five weeks, but at least once I’ll fly to where Kimi is, where ever he happens to be in. I’m not yet sure of my own schedule so I can’t make exact plans.”
Jenni got time to visit Finland five times last year. Mother-in-law is going to pay a visit to the young couple at next week, Jenni’s parents before this year ends. Old friends haven’t forsaken her either. “I’ve received new friends here in Switzerland, both in the horse circles and other places. One of my closest ones is one wife of a Finnish hockey player.” Jenni gives a laugh to the everlasting questions about dreams of addition to the family. “We are in no hurry, we are so young yet. Kimi has years of driving left, and I still want to ride. You can’t ride if you’re knocked up! But at some time – for sure we want children.”