Ask the Expert – Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen
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%