Six reasons why we love Kimi
1. Well-dressed Kimi
In a bid for anonymity, Kimi likes to conduct his business in a gorilla suit. He chose to wear the costume for a speed boat race, entering under his nom de guerre, James Hunt. Raikkonen and two friends competed in the Hanko Poker run, a society event where crews speed around the Finnish port, collecting poker cards that they play with. However when the ape tried to moor the boat, the skipper yelled “Kimi, don’t tie it like that,” and proceeded to give him a lesson in knots. Cover blown.
2. Inappropriate Kimi
It was meant to be the glorious swansong of the man Kimi would succeed at Ferrari. Michael Schumacher’s last race, at Interlagos in 2006, saw the German presented with a trophy by Pele. All the drivers turned up to watch – apart from Kimi. Moments later, ITV’s Martin Brundle found the Finn hanging out beside his car. Why had he missed Schumi’s farewell? “I was having a shit,” he disclosed. Well, he was number two on the grid.
3. Gambling Kimi
The Finn’s performance at the 2005 European Grand Prix left all his rivals in the shade. But one small mistake flat-spotted the right-front tyre, and it would cost him dear. With Fernando Alonso close behind, Kimi and his team faced a tough decision: pit and settle for six points, or stay out and go for broke. Sadly, that’s exactly what the McLaren suspension did on the very last lap when the tyre failed spectacularly. Kimi very nearly hit Jenson Button’s BAR as he spun down the straight in a shower of carbon and rubber. No points, but no regrets either.
4. Knife-throwing Kimi
German TV executives realized that, if they were to get Kimi on their programme, they might need to rethink the standard sit-down chat show format. Instead, they set up a circus big top-tent and gave Kimi a motocross bike to ride infront of the audience. But the piece de resistance was when he attempted to throw a set of stake knives at a member of the audience – almost. He may have been a great shot in the Finnish army, but his knife skills are a bit rusty.
5. Kamikaze Kimi
Suzuka 2005 saw Raikkonen’s most impressive performance to date. He started 17th on the grid and fought his way through the field. Giancarlo Fisichella thought he had 10 points when he started the final lap. But Kimi had been planning a dramatic finale. As they raced down the straight to the first turn, Kimi got a good tow, went as far to the outside and he could, rode the rev limiter, flickered right and shot right cross the front of the Renault, snatching the lead with less than a minute and a half to spare.
6. Party Kimi
Raikkonen first gained tabloid notoriety when he showed a London lap dancer the real reason he wears a six point harness. He lost his driving license in Budapest in 2006, but this had nothing to do with a road traffic incident. Kimi had been a Red Bull boat party and was swinging his bag above his head, showering the VIP room with cash and cards. Fortunately everything, including his passport, was returned the next morning. But Kimi’s finest drunken moment was the yacht party where our hero tried to throw something at the crowd below, but lost his balance, falling off the fly deck and onto his head.