Kimi about Jenni, money and children. Seiska asked Kimi Räikkönen 77 questions in his home in Porkkala.
What kind of chances of success do you think Lotus has this season?
It’s difficult to say, nobody knows yet. We will see after the first tests where we are going.
Do you have hunger for another WDC?
Yes. You always have that as a goal. I will try a lot, let´s see if that’s enough or not.
You have said that Lotus has a homey atmosphere compared to your earlier teams, how do you see the difference?
Each team has always been different. Lotus has however a different kind of management. They are younger and racing-spirited and not any uptight people.
Is Sebastian Vettel your best buddy in F1?
Yes, I know him best and have spent most of time with him than with any other drivers.
Do you have any enemy or someone you can’t stand there?
No I haven’t but it’s difficult to say what other people think.
Have you already met your team mate Romain Grosjean? Is he a good guy?
I have met him and he is a nice normal guy.
Where do you see yourself after ten years?
Difficult to say but hopefully everything is still okay.
What plans do you have for your life after F1?
No plans. I have never had any terribly long plans.
In how good physical shape are you?
I guess in the same shape as before. I know pretty well in which shape one has to be.
They operated your wrist after the recent motor sledge-race. Has it healed well?
Yeah. It’s now completely okay.
They often talk about your money in public. You have a fortune of over 100 million euros. What does money mean to you?
I guess it means the same as it means to other people too. I get a certain amount of money for the job that I do. Some think it’s right, some think it’s wrong. I myself have however made all the work so it doesn’t make me ashamed at all. Money makes some things easier but it really doesn’t solve everything in life.
Has the big fortune made you out of touch with reality or do you even think about monetary matters?
*laughing* Definitely not! I’m just the same as I was before. It makes some things easier but it also brings a lot of negative things along.
Do you pay your bills yourself or do you use an internet-bank for example?
No I don’t. My mom takes care of quite many of my things.
How much money will you get for your next season in Lotus?
I get something.
How have you invested your money?
Well I have a few apartments and something like that… You have to live somewhere.
They have thought in public that you are part-owner in Lotus, is that true?
No it’s not.
Would you like to own your own F1-team someday?
I don’t have the passion for it. In the end it’s quite cruel business.
Have you ever donated a lot of money to charity?
I have done that every now and then. At the moment I have this small thing going on with SOS Children’s Village.
Then what is your biggest loss in poker?
I doesn’t come to my mind right now, but usually I lose rather than win.
Do you play other gambling games?
I guess I have sometimes played some pajazzo etc. if they are seen as gambling games, but nothing more.
They say that you are genuinely a laidback guy and don’t look like you would be nervous of any racing situations. What kind of situations make you nervous?
Hard to say. Sometimes normal things can make me nervous. It depends on the place but I am also nervous about races.
What kind of things are you afraid of?
There are no things that I would be afraid of. I don’t have fear for high places or things like that.
You have many houses but how many homes do you have?
This place in Porkkala is one home and I have another home in Switzerland. I don’t think that I have any more homes than anyone else has.
You travel a lot. How many nights per year are you here in Porkkala?
I can’t say at all. I spend more time here in the summer when the weather is good.
Is the place in Kaskisaari more of a partying place than home?
No. I use it when I have for example some job stuff in Helsinki.
How do you decorate your apartment? I doubt you go to IKEA by yourself.
No I don’t go to IKEA. This house has been designed by interior-people.
Is there something in the interior that Jenni likes and that you let her have with long teeth?
Well I don’t have terribly much that I would have objected to. I don’t pay attention to those kind of details. We have a pretty similar taste but interior is more a thing for women. I’m sure it’s more important to them than it is to me for example. We should just let the women take care of these things!
Which room is your favorite room?
I guess I spend most time on the couch in front of the TV.
What do you serve your friends when they come and visit you?
It depends of course on which day it is! *laughing* I don’t usually ask terribly much, they find their way to the fridge themself.
Do you go to the supermarket yourself?
I go there quite often. I like to go there but it also depends upon which time you go there. Sometimes there are many people etc. but I like to circle around there.
Do you clean your home yourself?
Yeah I clean sometimes. I do the normal cleaning myself, like wash my own clothes.
Do you have a housekeeper?
No. A cleaning lady comes twice a month to sweep the biggest thrash.
Do you make food yourself?
I make food if I’m home alone.
What is your speciality?
I guess it’s chicken pasta. It’s the easiest to make. I’m not any passionate cook.
What is your favorite drink?
I drink a lot of milk.
How do you prepare a White Russian the right way?
I don’t know since I haven’t drank White Russians for years. I’m sure I couldn’t make them the right way.
What about cranberry vodka?
I guess you mix vodka with some cranberry.
Is Jenni a good cook?
She is a bit better than me but if we would compete I think it would be quite an even competition.
Does she cook for you often?
Every now and then. We don’t have any rule book about those things, that someone would always have to cook. Often we go out for dinner and sometimes pick up something.
Do you have pets?
We have three dogs. My mom keeps two Jack Russell terriers and the German Shepard is in Switzerland.
What names do they have?
Reiska, Peppi and Ajax.
Is it true that you are allergic to Jenni’s horses?
I’m allergic to quite many things like cats and horses. I get a stuffed up nose if I spend a lot of time with them. I had more allergies during the army-time.
What TV-programs do you watch?
This and that. Mostly sport. Yesterday I was staring at something that my mom watched.
Your favorite movie?
What Finnish icehockey-league do you support?
I don’t personally support anything special. Of course I hope that Espoo’s and Helsinki’s leagues would do well. I don’t follow icehockey with clenched teeth and despite rumors I don’t own anything from Tampere’s Ilves. May the best league win.
How often do you party?
It depends a lot. Now I haven’t had time to party because of having so much to do. Of course if I’m free and want to go, then I go. I don’t have any regulations concerning that. These things are related to normal life just like it is with everybody else too.
How is a good party made, a party where you enjoy yourself?
I guess it’s the good gang. That’s where it usually takes off.
Does it have to be karaoke?
It has been less karaoke although it’s usually been fun there. It’s not necessary but I rather go to a smaller and more quiet place than to some big disco.
How much and what do you drink during a bar-night?
Hmmm… Hard to say what I drink. There is no main drink. I usually order a lot of cranberry vodka because my buddies drink a lot of that. I often drink vodka and vichy if I drink.
Are you a person who likes to be comfortable?
Well not any more than anyone else is. I’m usually fine with everything.
The sea is here beside, do you swim a lot?
I swim in the summer. The last time I took a swim in that sea was just before the ice came.
Cold or hot shower?
It depends a little but I like a really cold shower too. It refreshes quite well.
How much time do you spend in the shower?
Well as long as I get clean I guess. I don’t have any stopwatch there for crying out loud!
Do you sing in the shower?
Do you wear a bathrobe or do you walk around with a towel over your hips?
With a towel.
Your favorite cologne/scent?
I only use the basic deodorant. You get it easy from the gas station!
Do you blowdry your hair?
What is your favorite music?
I usually listen to Finnish music from the radio.
You mean radio Suomi Pop?
I have been less now that people there have changed. It’s not as good in the morning as it used to be.
How many cars do you own?
Five I think. Audi, Fiat, Mercedes and VW. I guess I get some Lotus too soon but any luggage won’t fit into them.
How many tattoos do you have and do they have some meaning?
Two. I don’t think that they have any special meaning.
You have told that you would want to have two children. At which stage do you think starting a family would be actual?
Of course you want family. It doesn’t mean that there should be one or two children. Hopefully I get a family at some point and that all children would be healthy. I think that’s the main thing.
I heard that you are very fond of children. Is it true?
Yes, I like children. I don’t have any of my own but I like spending time with them.
What is the secret of your and Jenni’s lasting marriage?
I don’t think that we have any secret. Of course we have arguments and nagging at times just like in every other relationship but it’s normal life.
How often do you see Jenni?
We are about every day together at home unless we are on some trips. It has been like that ever since we met.
What mutual hobbies do you have?
I guess just being home since we both have our own hobbies. I do my own things and Jenni rides every day.
What is a good relationship like according to you?
I’m sure everyone have a different relationship and you can’t order what is good for anyone. For as long as both have fun and both feel good to be together is what defines it.
Which one of you are more jealous?
Hard to tell.
Are you jealous of each other?
I’m sure eveyone is. Even though you would say that you aren’t jealous I think everyone is.
Are you happy?
Yes. I don’t have anything to complain about.
Do you think that Jenni is also happy with you?
Yes. We wouldn’t be together if we weren’t happy. Like I said there are always arguments every now and then but I think it’s the same for everyone else too.
Do you read Seiska?
I read it every day now and then because we get it in Switzerland! Yeah, the bible comes to our home (laughing).
So you call Seiska jokingly a bible?
It is sometimes like that, yes!
From: Seiska Magazine http://www.seiska.fi/ Translation: Nicole
Kimi Raikkonen is back in Formula 1 again in 2012. At Lotus-Renault he can hardly win, but he brings color back into the championship. SPORT BILD describes the two faces of the Ferrari world champion from 2007.
Suddenly, the “Iceman” became talkative. It was cold in the winter of 2003. Kimi Raikkonen was staying at a Swiss shepherd dog breeder in the vicinity of Lake Constance. He spent hours playing around with the eight-week-old puppies, photographed them, and sent the pictures via cell phone to his wife Jenni. He finally opted for Ajax, who was the first jumped into his arms. On this day, he put the mask of the Iceman Raikkonen off and showed his true colors. After two years of vacation in the World Rally Championship the World Champion of 2007 is back in the next year in Formula 1. He signed for two years at Lotus-Renault team. The Lotus will not be the best car, but Raikkonen (32) does not matter. “I just wanted to go. Money is not important,” he says. On the contrary: the Finn earns no money, he even invested. Two donors from Saudi Arabia finance the deal, along with two private sponsors, who Raikkonen brings. It is led by the American Foster Gillette (35). The heir to the dynasty of razor got to know and appreciate Raikkonen in his NASCAR driving test six months ago in the U.S. The second-patron is said to be Prince Jefri of Brunei, brother of the Sultan of Brunei, who is considered as one of the richest men in the world.
One thing is certain: in particular the tabloid reporters are happy about Raikkonen’s comeback. They hope to see the other face of Räikkönen, the ex-champion had shown only too often in his first F1 career with McLaren-Mercedes and Ferrari. Here is a short “best of” his scandals: He fell drunk headlong from the upper deck to lower deck of his yacht in the port of Helsinki. He disguised himself as a gorilla. He rioted in a night club in London, and unsheathed his little Kimi. He slept shitfaced on a sidewalk in Gran Canaria, with a pink rubber elephant as a pillow. Mercedes-employees on vacation found him and called the headquarters in Stuttgart: “I think we’ve just found your Formula 1 pilot.” And still a treat that has not yet penetrated to the public: his compatriot and F1-mate Heikki Kovalainen freethinker Raikkonen is said to demanded on a partner swap. Kovalainen will have to flee in panic seized.
Raikkonen is not interested at about that all. He clarifies: “Everyone has emotions, but each has a different way to deal with. When I am driving, I am highly focused, emotions are out of place, to this that I’m not a guy who likes to show what goes on in myself.” Therefore, he would never tell that his squeaky voice leading from a bicycle accident from his childhood. Kimi was five years old when he slipped from the pedals and slammed with the neck right on the handlebars. From the severe bruising to his vocal cords have never fully recovered. Even as a child Raikkonen spoke so less that his parents brought him anxiously to the therapist. And he sent him back home after half a day. With a letter in his pocket: “Your son is above average intelligence. That could be the reason why he chooses to remain silent…” A difficult task test, on which an adult needed in average three hours, the six year old had solved in 20 minutes. This had convinced the therapist.
Also in the car Raikkonen is always too cold. An experiment confirmed this: doctors wired him during a race with measuring electrodes. Result: In situations where other pilots themselves acknowledge the sweat had driven into the neck, Raikkonen’s pulse not even jumped in the height. For his former team boss Peter Sauber the fin is the pilot with the strongest nerves, he has ever experienced. “He almost slept through his first F1 race in Australien2001,” he recalls. Fitness coach Josef Leberer, then responsible for Raikkonen, said: “Kimi was on a case in the box and slept when I wanted to wake him up 40 minutes before the start so he could prepare for the start, and he turned around and muttered, “Give me five minutes”. He just went back to sleep.” In the race he won his first championship point in sixth. When Peter Sauber wanted to congratulate him, Raikkonen waved: “Have I won? So why the congratulations?” Sauber was completely perplexed.
Besides Sauber, two others are looking forward to the comeback of the”Iceman”. Sebastian Vettel is good friends with Kimi Raikkonen: “I like Kimi very much,” the double world champion said, “and certainly he is still a great racing driver.” The other is Gerhard Berger. The Tyrolean ex-chief of Sebastian Vettel grins: “To Red Bull Kimi would actually fit best, he could celebrate whenever he wants because even with hangover Kimi is still faster than most others…” Nice to see that he is back!
From: SportBild, Translation by Essi
He is the F1-driver of the new generation. Way too inexperienced. Way too unpolished. Way too stubborn. And way too good, way too soon.
“Say *****!” There’s still time for Monza qualification so a Finnish man has time to keep a language course in a bus that is filled with Italian F1-fans. “P****”, an Italian boy learns. After the important substantive has been learned, it’s time to move to names. “Häkkinen!” “Räikkönen!” “Schumacher”, an Italian tries to say but he is shouted silent. The learning lesson stops for a moment while the Italians can take a picture of the Finns. But repetition is the key to learning. “Then say P*****” Although the Finnish flag is waving in Monza it isn’t the number one destination for Finnish formula-tourists. Budapest, Barcelona and Hockenheim are traditional places. In the plane that took us to Milan – Monza is 20 km from Milan – a rumor was circulating that the Finnish employees of Hewlett Packard had cancelled their trip because of the terror-strikes. But Sonera’s people aren’t afraid like they are. The atmosphere is in the roof and the truth is that other liquids than petrol are used. “This is already my 11th drink”, one Sonera-man who is enthusiastic over the serving during the flight crows behind his gintonic half an hour before we arrive in Milan.
We are experiencing an exceptional motorsport-weekend: the main focus isn’t on Michael Schumacher. The Italian paper Il Gazzetta dello Sport has dedicated almost two pages for flying Finns. Mika Häkkinen has announced that he will take a one year leave. He will be replaced by 21-year old Kimi Räikkönen who cost Ron Dennis 160 million marks to get him out of Sauber. That’s a lot of a driver who nobody knew anything about 13 months ago. One can only guess Räikkönen’s salary at McLaren but without doubt it will be more than the 6 millions Sauber paid him according to Italian sources. Nine points in 15 races with Sauber’s car is a sensation. As is also the fact that Räikkönen has fought with his team mate, the big promise Nick Heidfeld, evenly all through the season. Heidfeld has after all a long career in F3, testing driver for McLaren and races in Prost team. When looking at the amount of hours and the machinery, Räikkönen has made a miracle resulting in Team Clerasil – which has been the nick name on the paddock for the squad group Räikkönen and Heidfeld – breaking up. There have been omens in the air right from the beginning. Räikkönen scored points in his very first race. Mostly people were astonished by the fact that he was the only driver who didn’t drive off the track during the whole weekend.
Who found this boy who had grown fastened into the steering wheel? You have to look for the answer from Norway. A karting-company guy Harald Huismann had a year before seen Räikönen’s driving lines. He contacted manager David Robertson who had only a year ago pushed the teenager Jenson Button into Williams F1-team. “This you have to see”, Huismann had said. Finally the opportunity to test for Sauber came thanks to Steve Robertson. He was immediately convinced of Räikkönen’s skills. In September 12th 2000 Räikkönen sits for the first time in a formula-car. He has under him 800 horsepower which is 600 horsepower more than in Formula Renault, Räikkönen’s current vehicle. Räikkönen decides to drive just like they say. “Don’t push too hard” And Kimi takes it easy. “Now you can squeeze but try and spin in that specific corner.” And Kimi squeezes and spins in the exact corner. On his 3rd testing day Räikkönen is faster than Sauber’s test driver Pedro Diniz. In November Räikkönen makes a 3-year contract with Sauber. Räikkönen’s contract changes at once the F1-recruiting. The teams wake up and start to look for real talents from lower classes which leads to more younger and inexperienced drivers rising up to F1. The hunger for winning, speed on track, and having a brilliant way to take in new things are enough.
“Räikkönen. Bueno!”, a grey-haired taxi driver praises the boy who has just taken the 9th position in qualification. The taxi takes us to the village Il Triuggio. There the biggest heroes in motorsport get peace. There is only one hotel, Hotel Fossati. It’s the safe home for F1-stars. The lobby has hundreds of signed photos of drivers who have spent the night there. JJ Lehto. Carlos Reutemann. Niki Lauda. Michael Schumacher. Ayrton Senna. The elevator door is full of F1-team’s stickers. You notice the difference to a normal middle class hotel when you speak to the manager. There is a helicopter field behind the hotel. The hotel has a Gerhard Berger-suite and two Schumacher-suites of which the bigger one is – of course – for the big brother. The car garage is filled with Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches. The tennis court can in a minute be changed into a football court if some of the drivers, often Michael Schumacher, wants so. There is also a complete gym. The bathroom in the lobby is so clean that you could have a picnic on the floor. There is a guard in front of the hotel 24/7 and he is there for a reason. About 20 f1-groupies hang around the hotel during the whole GP. Just as the sun has set a slim guy walks by in the lobby.
“I’ll go and eat. Let’s talk after that”, Räikkönen says while walking by. Before he has time to run down the stairs to the restaurant, the hotel manager grabs Kimi familiarly from the hand. “Kimi, Kimi.” When his overwhelming attention stops, Räikkönen goes into the night. But you can’t hide from other drivers in a F1-hotel. Olivier Panis hangs in the hotel bar. He is there with a blonde girlfriend who wears a lot of makeup. Panis eats salty biscuits and talks with other employees from BAR. Heinz-Harald Frenzen carries a brown brief case and looks small.
9.30 pm Räikkönen comes from his dinner. He has had a salami pizza. And maybe a beer? “Nooo, no alcohol before the race” Räikkönen wears jeans and a loose sweater with the number 43. He sits on the sofa chair and doesn’t correct his position. When touching his 8000 marks Nokia Zippo he looks like a boardskater who couldn’t be less interested. They tell that Peter Sauber got upset because Räikkönen’s team-shirt always hangs outside his loose jeans. Finally Kimi agreed to let go of his jeans but the shirt never disappeared inside the trousers. They say that Räikkönen is a boy who asks too often why? And if the answer isn’t well enough justified, he doesn’t take the advice or order. Mother Paula sees Kimi getting through the army as a bigger miracle than his victory in Britain’s Formula Renault last year. When manager Steve Robertson called Räikkönen and told him that he is now a McLaren-man, Räikkönen commented it by saying “aha.” The coolness of Räikkönen is sometimes almost autistic, on the other hand it’s the acting like a machine and the ability to shut out everything that’s irrelevant from his mind that is one of his greatest strengths. When Räikkönen’s water bottle broke in the middle of the race in Hungaroring, a liter and half-filled his helmet. Räikkönen didn’t see much, drove a couple of times to the lawn, but couldn’t make himself go to the pit stop even though his visor was sticky and his face was covered with sugary liquid. Whereas Häkkinen has been criticized of having no fighting spirit when he meets small setbacks Räikkönen again, can change his driving style and drive flat out with even three tyres.
One story. Summer 1988. It rains in Pori so that it’s like standing in a shower. Matti, Paula and Rami Räikkönen are in the trailer. Big brother Rami, a skillful karting driver himself, has said to his parents that he doesn’t dare to drive in that weather. The family is watching with their hearts in their throats how the self-made karting car drives around and around on an empty track. The driver is 8-year old Kimi. The mother hopes that the boy would already come back. Finally the car stops in the furthest corner. Kimi waves wildly to his parents and father Matti rushes out in the pouring raining. “I’m out of gas, bring more.” A year earlier Matti Räikkönen have made it. The brothers Kimi and Rami drove endlessly their ‘Päijänne-race’ on the lawn outside their house in Espoo. If the lawn was dry it was watered with a hose so that they could get their mopeds sliding and so that mud would fly all over. The father decided to buy the boys a karting car and move the sound problem to asphalt tracks. He probably didn’t guess where his decision would finally lead to. Matti Räikkönen did when things were at worst four jobs so that he could fund Kimi’s hobby and later on Rami’s rallying. Mother Paula worked as a clerk. “Now I have a chance to pay back to mom and dad. Things were many times put on ice because of money”, Kimi says and you can’t fail to see how satisfied the look on his face is. All of a sudden the interview is stopped because the hotel manager’s son comes with a chocolate cake. The star has to taste this magnificent cake, he simply has to. “No thanks. No sweet”, Kimi rejects. Räikkönen’s trainer, Jukka Viitasaari, says that Kimi has left almost all fat, red meat and sugar out of his food. “He eats healthier than many top sportsmen.” The driver takes care of his body with the right nutrition – the salami pizza was an exception.
Viitasaari says that Kimi runs 10 km in under 40 minutes and 3500 meters in Cooper-test. Although the F1-drivers are these days in top form, those results are exceptional. “Mika Salo ran 3200 meters”, Viitasaari knows. When Räikkönen is in Finland he runs in the surroundings of his childhood home in Espoon Keskus or in Helsinki central park usually over 10 km at a time. In GP’s Kimi has a habit of jogging around the track a couple of times. Viitasaari thinks that Räikkönen’s ability to control his body is phenomenal. “Kimi could have become a gymnast. He learned to stand on his hands in four days. He immediately succeeded on the sleigh.” Räikkönen’s co-ordination skills are developed in many ways. In one practice they put a one meter board on a football where Räikkönen has to balance. “Häkkinen was is his youth in a circus school”, Viitasaari reminds. Viitasaari has trained many top sportsmen. According to him he has only met one sportsman who has had as strong will to win as Räikkönen has, Arto Bryggare.
“When they fail they don’t explain. In fact they aren’t even able to talk because they are so disappointed in themselves because they couldn’t win.” Anecdot: In the army that Kimi hated he was the 2nd best orienteer. The best one was an orienteer in the national team. Respecting team mates too much is without doubt a hinder for winning. But there has to be drivers who Kimi adores, some driver’s clean driving lines or something. “I don’t have any idols”, Räikkönen says. Only barely does he agree to admit that Schumi and Häkkinen has to be good drivers because they have won WDC’s. Snap. Snap. Snap. Kimi stares at his Zippo, writes a text-message, answers shortly and rubs his neck. If there is one thing where Kimi’s professionalism is still questioned, it’s dealing with the media. According to an experienced sport reporter Kimi is in fact a warm person but his shyness makes his behavior clumsy and the answers are often very short.
Finns are used to that but abroad his behavior is seen as impoliteness. Räikkönen’s withdrawal is also seen by the fact that he hasn’t much become friends with other drivers. “I went out with Heidfeld a couple of times in the beginning of the season. Now that has stopped too. I don’t really have any mates among the drivers with whom I could spend time with.” Earlier the same day the F1-circles have been shocked when the Italian Alex Zanardi had an accident in Cart-Series. Zanardi is put in coma and they had to amputate his both legs. Isn’t Kimi afraid? Isn’t his mother afraid? “I don’t think about fear. If I would I would be in the wrong profession but mothers are always afraid. Women are like that.” Kikka Kuosmanen who co-ordinates Räikkönen’s press contacts in Finland says that Kimi is a guy who simply thinks it’s ‘cool’ to cruise 360 km/h. Cool, that’s it. “Yeah, I usually take a nap half an hour before the race”, Räikkönen tells. If Häkkinen is an Iceman then Räikkönen is a carbonic acid Iceman. And a man like that always means troubles for his team mate. The most cynical British reporters have claimed that David Coulthard is afraid of Räikkönen’s performance. If Räikkönen can win Coulthard several times next season, there might well be two Finns in McLaren in 2003. Although they doubt that Mika Häkkinen will ever come back. “If Häkkinen starts to feel anxiety over changing diapers and home life, he will come back, otherwise he won’t”, a British reporter said.
It’s 10 pm, Kimi has to go to sleep because he has a race tomorrow – an important race, Steve Robertson hints. But the wonder boy doesn’t get to sleep that easily. The fans stalk everywhere. Two 20-year old girls grab him. The camera takes photos but Kimi doesn’t smile. It’s not his way. He grins. Kimi Räikkönen drove in 7th in Monza. What is the magic drink then made of? F1-commentators say that the formula of the magic drink is a top secret. BS! F1-drivers drink a 15 % energy drink, trainer Jukka Viitasaari tells. It’s a malt dextrin drink based on carbohydrates with added B-vitamin and salt. You get it in different flavors, berry or fruit. Mostly the drivers drink the same liquids that bikers and runners drink.
From: City-Lehti 2001
What does Kimi Raikkonen do away from the track? One minute he’s Peter Fonda in Easy Rider, the next he’s Bill Murray in Stripes. But the character Kimi really wants to be is Captain Jack Sparrow. He talks to Adam Hay-Nicholls about his life at home, his big screen alter-ego and his maverick spirit.
Kimi Raikkonen is different to most other racing drivers – and certainly different to most Formula One World Champions. Michael Schumacher may race bikes these days and Jacques Villeneuve may occasionally strum the guitar, but neither has anywhere near has the breadth of extra-curricular interests that the Iceman has. Nor do they have as many toys…
Q: You’ve got two amazing Walz Hardcore motorcycles that were custom-made for you. How involved were you in designing them?
Kimi: I was quite involved with the first one, the black one. The new one looks similar – I just told them to paint it red and put some Ferrari logos on it. There are some subtle differences under the skin too. I love them to bits, otherwise I wouldn’t have bought them. They’ve been exhibited at a few shows, but they’re for riding. I take them out to Switzerland and I ride to Monza every year with my friends. They have similar tastes in bikes to me.
Q: Both bikes have “Iceman” written across the fuel tank. If you park one of them outside a shop don’t you worry that there will be a crowd of fans standing around it when you get back?
Kimi: No no, I never just leave they because they’ve got no key so anyone could just take them! I have to park them in gated or guarded car-parks or else they will disappear. Besides, I don’t use them to go shopping, I ride them simply to ride. So we’ll go off on a road trip for a couple of days and I won’t leave the saddle. I like to go over the mountains in Italy and let rip along lakeside roads. You can’t get better than that.
Q: At the Amber fashion show charity auction you paid 200,000 Euros for Sharon Stone’s Corvette Stingray. What other toys do you keep in your garage?
Kimi: I’ve got some other bikes, probably 10 in total. Mostly motocross bikes. I have some other cars, including a Ferrari Enzo – my only Ferrari – and skidoos. I have a Hummer and a few Cadillacs including an Escalade pick-up. I’ve just got a new Fiat 500, which I really like. And when I went to see a DTM race a while back I took a fancy to the Mercedes DTM car and bought that.
Q: Your first car was a Lada right?
Kimi: Yeah I sold it a long time ago to a friend. Ladas are good cars – they never break down.
Q: Did you ever try to take it racing?
Kimi: No, but I did something similar with a Beetle. I did some racing with cars you can bash into eachother – not banger racing exactly, it was on sand. I had this Beetle kitted out with a roll cage, then I rolled it four times or something and it didn’t work anymore! Yeah, I pretty much killed it.
Q: And you own a Mini don’t you?
Kimi: Yeah, a very old one. I’ve been meaning to fix it up for years, but I just haven’t found the time.
Q: What’s missing from your garage?
Kimi: Nothing. Instead, I need to be getting rid of some stuff! The thing is, I don’t want to get something and not use it. I use all of these toys all the time, especially the motocross bikes. If I find I don’t need something, I’ll sell it. And often it’s easier just to rent.
Q: Do you get to play ice-hockey much these days?
Kimi: I play every winter. I grew up with ice-hockey, played it all the time as a kid and I like to keep in practice. I don’t have one team who I’m support massively but I have a lot of friends who play in the NHL and in Finland.
Q: Don’t you just watch it for the fights?
Kimi: Well those are of course a bonus! You don’t see so much of it in Finland because they penalize you heavily for it. But the fights are part of the game, I think, and it spices it up a bit. I went to see the Olympic finals when they were in Turin and I’ve been to see the NHL in the States. I wish I could get over there more often, but it’s just finding the time. I try to see the matches on TV, but in Europe they’re shown at 3am. That’s not a problem if I’m at home and I’ve nothing to get up for, but on a grand prix weekend I can’t really stay up. And a lot of the hotels we stay in don’t have the channels.
Q: You say you played a lot as a kid. But what were you like at school? Teacher’s pet?
Kimi: No, bad! Not good, I hated school. I was interested in different things. I only liked sport and lessons where you did practical things.
Q: Aside from F1, what sport do you most enjoy?
Kimi: Definitely snow-mobile racing. But this winter it was tough because there was no snow except in Lapland. And it takes a while to get there. If I could do it in Switzerland, I could do it every day, but it’s illegal there.
Q: Why on earth do you live there then?
Kimi: No, I like it, but for sure, if you talk about motor racing it’s difficult. It’s very strict there but they let you do motocross and it’s the same in Italy where, in a lot of places, skidoos are banned. For some reason, it’s a difficult sport to do. Finland is one of the only places where you don’t get shit for it.
Q: It’s pretty dangerous though. Have you ever broken anything?
Kimi: I’ve been injured many times, but not so bad that I couldn’t walk afterwards. For sure, I have had massive bruises on my back and everything, but so far I haven’t broken anything. As long as I can get back up and jump in a Formula One car, that’s the important thing.
Q: You’ve done a year of compulsory military service too. I’m guessing you weren’t so keen on all that discipline.
Kimi: Yeah I did a lot of things there that I shouldn’t have, and I didn’t like the fact that you couldn’t do this and had to do that…
Q: Sounds a bit like Mclaren…
Kimi (Laughing): Yeah, when I look back on my year in the army it was a good time, but when I was there I hated it because I couldn’t go where I wanted and I’d get shit from people. I still laugh with my friends about some of the stuff we got up to.
Q: What mischief did you get up to? Were you like Bill Murray in Stripes – the joker of the regiment?
Kimi: Yeah something like that. I probably shouldn’t go into too much detail! Anyway, I was 21 then and I was still in the army when I did my first F1 test with Sauber in 2000.
Q: What did you shoot?
Kimi: Nobody so far!
Q: I remember at the Red Bull party in Sao Paulo last year, you celebrated your title by getting behind the bar and making everyone drinks. So what cocktail do you most enjoy making?
Kimi: Not really cocktails. I’ll choose shots, thanks. Or maybe a Vodka and cola.
Q: Have you seen that YouTube clip where you fell off your yacht?
Kimi: I’ve probably seen all of my YouTube clips. I’ve been involved with all of them certainly! Yeah, well, there are a lot of things that don’t end up on there, and that’s a good thing!
Q: If you could be any character from any movie, who would you be?
Kimi: Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean (Kimi roars with laughter). He seems to know how to have a good time. I might need to drink a lot of rum to get into the role! I love movies like this.
Q: If a time machine were invented, where would you travel to?
Kimi: If you’re talking about racing, then a time that was more fun, like the 1970s. I could have enjoyed it. And before that, maybe the Wild West.
Q: Finally, do you think you’re an easy person to interview?
Kimi: I don’t mind what people think too much. If they ask nice questions then yes, but for sure if they ask stupid questions I won’t answer and they will think I’m a dickhead. But it goes both ways. If everyone’s nice to each other it’s much easier.
From: Red Bulletin
Another ex-world champion returns to Formula 1. After 2 years of hobbying in the WRC, Kimi realized he missed wheel-to wheel racing, and so Kimi’s sacred fire came back.
When Kimi Räikkönen closed the Formula 1 door after 2009, it didn’t seem for any moment he would ever come back to the top class of circuit racing. His third season with Ferrari went laborious. The Flying Finn only scored 1 victory, 4 podium places, an anonymous 12th position in his last race and an even so laborious 6th place in the world championship. The only victory in Spa was certainly a good one. For Ferrari, apparently it wasn’t enough. They hired Fernando Alonso. Not Felipe Massa, but Kimi Raikkonen had to give room to Alonso. ‘’Only when I get a top seat, I’ll stay in F1’’, that’s what Kimi said, realizing that all of those places were occupied. However, he was already done with all the obligations of being a F1 driver. Raikkonen obviously has never been a lover of press conferences, interviews with journalists, sponsor activities and all the other things he had to do.
This writer knows it. In 2004 I got the rare chance to talk to this guy who’s called ‘’The Iceman’’ after many requests. The man with almost the childish voice… His nickname doesn’t only fit his coolness behind the wheel, but also on the icy silence in his conversations. A British colleague wished me luck. ‘’Do you know Chief, the Indian from the movie One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest?’’, he asked. ‘’He talks more than Kimi, and he couldn’t even talk.’’ Räikkönen was at that time doing his 4th season of his career, the third with McLaren, and in that year, the Mercedes engines died in droves. At the moment of the interview his 4th engine just broke down. Add to this that an Italian journalist in our company, who bragged about the reliability of the Ferrari and Michael Schumacher’s winning streak, spiced up things. As you’ll understand, this would become a laborious interview.
First question: How would you describe you season so far, Kimi?
Kimi’s answer: ’’difficult’’.
That’s the way it went for at least 10 minutes. 10 minutes, wherein the McLaren driver looked a few times just a little too emphatically on his watch. McLaren’s PR-lady saved us from our suffering. Räikkönen was in a hurry to get to his fiancee Jenni Dahlman, a former Miss Scandinavia with who he’s still been married these days, and his managers David and Steve Robertson. The Finn nodded with a villainous smile in our direction. Yet again 2 journalists with an illusion less.
As cool and unfathomable as he seems to be in public, as passionated the Iceman becomes behind the wheel from a proper racing car. He becomes another human. It was so already when he was driving the Formula Renault in England. In the winter-series of that class he won in 1999 the first four races in a row and in 2000 he captured his first championship title in the British Formula Renault championship, by winning 7 of the 10 races. In total he grabbed thirteen wins in 23 races, a winning percentage of 56%!
In that period the talented Finn was accompanied by the Dutch ex-driver Gerrit van Kouwen, who was one of the first persons who could be planning the rough diamond. In 2004 Van Kouwen told before a reportage in this magazine this about Raikkonen: ‘’Brands hatch was Kimi’s first time in a semi-factory Formula Renault car which was prepared for him. On my question to Kimi, if we should change something between the distance to the wheel and the pedals, Kimi only said: ‘’It’s okay’’. In his first run his best lap he was only 2 seconds off the pace from a real factory car from Van Diemen. Unbelievable!
In his first test at Mugello we had to be on the track at half past 8 in the morning. I wanted to leave early but Kimi said to me: ‘’Wake me up at 10 past 8’’. Everybody was fussing about his first Formula 1 test, except Kimi himself. He jumped in the car and immediately drove a world class time. The second test day Peter Sauber came to the track, to watch Kimi. Peter first tough about a testing contract, but the Robertsons said: ‘’No, no testing contract. Give him a seat. He’s ready for it.’’ Before that conscious article I spoke to Kimi’s manager Steve Robertson. He described Kimi’s talent this way: ‘’My reason to work with Kimi is his unbelievable judgment that he has already since the start of his career, and his flair in the car. There’s a difference between good and really good, but where I was at the first category, Kimi was a class of his own, another league.’’
The rest is history. With a preliminary super-license to drive a F1 car (Max Mosley first wanted to see it before he wanted to believe in Kimi) Kimi scored as 21 year old rookie in his first ever GP a point scoring 6th place and immediately a WDC point. Formula 1 was introduced to an amazing talent. McLaren thanked Sauber warmly for his talent spotting and took the young Finn at the end of the 2001 season. Raikkonen drove 5 seasons for McLaren wherein he scored 9 GP wins, and the vice championship behind Schumacher in 2003 and 2005.
Schumacher´s temporary retirement made room at Ferrari for Kimi to go there. Ron Dennis probably did not shed a tear because of it. Kimi became a party animal from the purest type. As big earner he didn’t have to watch his money. Legendary was his visit to the London’s strip-club, wherein Kimi probably thought the ladies were still dressed too much. Raikkonen decided to make a strip-act himself, but the bouncers didn’t feel much for it and did their jobs. A nice set-off that Steve Robertson wanted to sketch. ‘’Kimi is a quiet boy, who likes to sit on the sofa and watch a DVD with Jenni. He doesn’t like to go out, he prefers something which will be delivered instead of going to an expensive restaurant. Actually, Kimi is a homester.’’
Kimi’s transition to Ferrari was a golden move. In his first season was an immediate hit, ironically enough because of his successors at McLaren didn’t want to give each other anything, creaming off points from each other which were much needed. By winning 2007’s last GP in Sao Paulo, Kimi captured the world championship, just 1 point in front of Alonso and Hamilton, mission accomplished.
The following 2 years were laborious, Raikkonen was a worldchampion, he had nothing to prove. At Ferrari they were flirting with Alonso, back then, a Renault driver again. The Finn however sometimes won a race (Malaysia and Spain) in 2008 and (Spa) in 2009, but the secret fire was gone, Ferrari’s non winning cars were part of it.
When the Scuderia, as expected, presented Fernando Alonso before the 2010 season, there was no room for the world champion from 2007 left. Kimi didn’t seem to have much desire to race against the Spaniard. He had already shown what he was capable of. Just like Felipe Massa, Kimi had a continuous contract with Ferrari, but Massa could stay and Kimi was ‘’kindly thanked’’ for his services. After this happened, Kimi became the best paid driver without F1 seat. Ferrari had an annual salary for him to leave. ‘’Thanks for all the support for 3 years at SF,’’ he tweeted at the 1st October of 2009, thereafter it became quiet around the Finn.
Away from the press, in the rest of his pre-retirement, Kimi chose to do things which he liked. He did 2 seasons in the WRC. 2 seasons with a Citroen, 1 season with his own team. With his point scoring 8th place in Jordan, Kimi became the first driver after Carlos Reutemann who scored points in both F1 and WRC. Obviously fun in the rallying world, grabbed some points, but never got exceptional results. His last WRC outing ended with a 3rd consecutive retirement. Thereafter, Kimi probably thought, I’m done. His NASCAR outing in the States can’t be seen as a serious career step as well. In his last NASCAR race at 28/05/2011 Kimi finished in 27th, with parts from others underneath his car and a fine for speeding in the pit-lane in his pocket. His NASCAR adventure didn’t give him any prize money, but gave him one important insight. ‘’I missed the wheel-to-wheel racing on track, which is actually more fun than driving against a ticking clock, as in the WRC.’’ Kimi just wanted relax and have wheel-to-wheel fights.
And so ended a tweet silence of 2 years on Tuesday the 29th November of 2011: ‘’Hello everybody, it has been some time, but I am back! Expect more from here in the future. He just signed a two-year deal with Lotus-Renault, which will be called Lotus next year and he handled the news as the typical Raikkonen: ‘’I got a telephone call from certain people in the F1. We got a deal, and I’m very happy with it. In a press release of Lotus-Renault, Kimi said he is more motivated than ever. It won’t be a problem according to Kimi. ‘’Otherwise, I wouldn’t have come back. Everybody always talk about my motivation, but apart from myself I know what I do and I don’t care what others think of my way of doing this. I wouldn’t have signed a contract if I wouldn’t enjoy those years. I never lost passion for F1, but I never had passion from all the things around F1’’. Oh yeah, still just as talkative.
Gerrit van Kouwen (accompanied Kimi in his Formula Ford years)
‘’I like Kimi’s comeback, because I haven’t seen many races the past few years. With the announcement of Kimi’s comeback, I’ll go and visit a race every now and then, I think. Whether it’s wise to come back? What’s wise? It’s just like Schumacher, if Kimi will enjoy himself, why not? After two years of rallying it probably became itchy again for Kimi. I also think that Kimi found out you have to work very very hard to get in the top at the WRC. I don’t know if he was committed enough. It’s not just driving a stage with a few pace-notes: there’s a hell of a lot more to do. Don’t forget you’ll drive against guys who’ve done this all their life. When you look at pure talent, Kimi is unbeatable. He is ‘’naturally gifted’’, as the English people would say. You’ll notice it when you’re sitting next to him in a car on a public road. As smooth as he drives, his assessment skills. Much will depend on his car, and if Lotus is developing well. How he gets along with the tyres. Kimi likes an oversteering car, a car which is pointy, which turns in aggressively. Actually when you turn in, the turn has been made already. Schumacher likes that too, but had troubles with those tyres.’’
Olav Mol (saw as F1 commentator all 157 races from Räikkönen)
‘’I’d like to see the racer Kimi Räikkönen back. He is one of the guys we’re watching F1 for, if only because we are freed from the Senna’s and Petrov’s in this world. If it’s gonna be a success? Well, when he gets fun doing it, it can become pretty good fun. The question is what Lotus told him. They say they know in 2 years where they are, and Renault isn’t the winning Renault anymore. There are rumors Kimi has purchased something with Raikkonen-Robertson racing, maybe to give young talents the opportunity to drive. That sounds logic to me. At least Lotus has got a driver who can develop a car, because Heidfeld, Petrov and Senna couldn’t. There are in the recent past some guys who made a comeback in different racing classes. There was 10 years between his last race and his comeback in Jan Lammers case, the biggest gap ever. While Jacques Villeneuve’s comeback wasn’t a success, Nigel Mansell found out his fat ass didn’t fit in the car anymore. In Michael Schumacher’s case, there’s not much to cheer for. But Kimi is one of the top class drivers, just like Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton. They’ve got the word racing in their pants tattooed. He misses the F1, he says. He hasn’t got anything to prove anymore. The expectations are not too high and maybe because of that, it’s the perfect moment to come back. Financially he’s completely independent, that’s why you can do crazy things on that age, you’ll get drunk in strip clubs. But he’s older now and has left those things behind him. Boys like Kimi and Schumacher think F1 is the best, something faster on 4 wheels, you can’t find in this world.’’
From: Formule1.nl Magazine, January 2012
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
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.”