Iceman Kimi Räikkönen

I don´t know

“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

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