Kimi Räikkönen

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Kimi Räikkönen
Kimi Raikkonen 2008 (square).jpg
Räikkönen at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix
FIA Super Licence Flag of Finland Finnish
Formula One World Championship career
2008 teamFerrari
2008 car #1
2009 teamFerrari
2009 car #3
Races140 (139 starts)
List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions1 (2007 Formula One season)
Wins17
Podiums57
Career points531
Pole position16
Fastest lap35
First race2001 Australian Grand Prix
First win2003 Malaysian Grand Prix
Last win2008 Spanish Grand Prix
Last race2008 Brazilian Grand Prix
2008 Formula One season position3rd (75 points)

Kimi-Matias Räikkönen (pronounced [ˈkimi ˈmɑtiɑs ˈræikkønen]; born October 17, 1979 in Espoo), nicknamed Iceman, is a Finnish Formula One race car driver, currently driving for Scuderia Ferrari. He was the 2007 Formula One List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions.

Räikkönen entered Formula One as a regular driver for Sauber-Petronas in 2001 Formula One season. Having previously only raced in very junior Open-wheel categories, he was given his FIA Super Licence from the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) after a performance delivery promise from his team boss, Peter Sauber.[1] He joined McLaren in 2002 Formula One season, and became a title contender by finishing runner-up in the 2003 Formula One season and 2005 Formula One season championships to Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, respectively.

Switching to Ferrari in 2007, Räikkönen became the highest paid driver in motor sport with an estimated wage of $51 million per year,[2] in part because the previous highest paid driver Michael Schumacher had retired. In turn his move to Ferrari saw him secure his first Formula One World Drivers' Championship, beating McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by one point.

Räikkönen is known to be very calm, cool, and calculating in his race strategy—prompting the nickname "Iceman", which is subtly written on the side of his current helmet design. His other nicknames include Kimppa, Räikkä and Kimster (used by his mechanics). In Finland Räikkönen is sometimes humorously nicknamed Räkä (Booger in English), a reference to Mika Häkkinen's moniker Häkä (Carbon monoxide in English).

In 2008, Räikkönen is one among the two Formula One drivers who made it into the Forbes magazine's The Celebrity 100 list, the other being Fernando Alonso. He is 36th on Forbes magazine's The Celebrity 100 list of 2008, and 41st on the previous year. [3] On the same list, as of 2008, he is listed as the 26th highest paid celebrity overall and the 5th highest paid sportsman behind Tiger Woods, David Beckham, Michael Jordan and Phil Mickelson.

Contents

Career


Early career (until 2000)

Räikkönen had a long line of success in Kart racing from the age of ten. His first race outside Finland was in Monaco when he was 15 years old. During the race, the Steering wheel broke, but he continued, informing his mechanic by frantically waving the steering wheel in the air on the home straight. Räikkönen's next Monaco race was also memorable; he was thrown on the wrong side of the safety fence in a first lap collision, but continued driving until running out of road. Undeterred, he lifted his kart back on to the track and continued to race. His mechanic thought Räikkönen had retired, but he eventually caught up with the other competitors and finished third.[4] In 1998 he was 1st in Nordic (karting) Championship at Varna in Norway. In 1999, Räikkönen was placed second in the European Formula Super A championship. In the same year, he also competed in the Formula Ford Euro Cup. By the age of twenty, he had won the British Formula Renault Championship winter series, winning the first four races of the year. In 2000, he won seven out of ten events in the British Formula Renault Championship. Over two series of Formula Renault (1999, 2000), he won 13 out of 23 events — a 56% win rate.

Sauber (2001)

On the basis of these results, Peter Sauber gave the Finn a test with the Sauber Formula One team in September 2000 at the Mugello Circuit.[5] After further tests in Circuito Permanente de Jerez and Circuit de Catalunya, Sauber Contract Räikkönen for the 2001 Formula One season season. However, some critics (including FIA president Max Mosley) voiced concerns over granting an F1 FIA Super Licence to such an inexperienced driver: Räikkönen had only 23 car races to his credit. He was nevertheless granted his license and scored a championship point in the 2001 Australian Grand Prix, his maiden Grand Prix. Räikkönen was asleep 30 minutes before the race.[6]

Räikkönen had a solid debut year, achieving four points-scoring finishes and eight finishes in the top eight. Completing the year with 9 points, Räikkönen, along with teammate Nick Heidfeld, helped Sauber to its best ever result of fourth place in the constructors' championship.

McLaren (2002–2006)

Räikkönen, long linked to Sauber's engine supplier Ferrari, instead sufficiently impressed McLaren to earn a race seat in Ron Dennis's team for 2002 Formula One season, taking the seat left vacant by double-List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions (and fellow Finn) Mika Häkkinen's sabbatical.

Räikkönen was always known to be extremely fast but his infamous technical failures did not bring the results that was his due. Approximately 38% of his races during his 5 years with McLaren ended with retirement because of one technical failure or the other.

2002

Räikkönen at the United States Grand Prix in 2002.

Räikkönen scored a third-place podium finish in his first race with McLaren, the 2002 Australian Grand Prix. Although McLaren suffered many Mercedes engine failures in 2002, Räikkönen scored 24 points and four podiums, and held his own against teammate David Coulthard. Räikkönen came close to winning his first Grand Prix at the 2002 French Grand Prix at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours, but went off track with a handful of laps to go, because of oil from the blown engine of Allan McNish's Toyota F1 on the circuit.[7] He finished the race second. He finished the season in sixth place, one place behind his team mate; together they achieved a solid third place for McLaren in the constructors' championship.

2003

At the opening 2003 Australian Grand Prix Räikkönen qualified 15th in the spare car. In the race he took the lead before being caught speeding in the pitlane, after a software glitch in the car's electronic system. Räikkönen held off Michael Schumacher to finish 3rd. 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix, Räikkönen won his first race[7] after starting from 7th on the grid. During the next round in Brazil, Räikkönen was declared the winner after the race was stopped on lap 55. According to the rules the winner is decided by the race order as of two laps before the race stopped, i.e. lap 53. However a week later, evidence emerged that Giancarlo Fisichella was on lap 56 when the race stopped, therefore the winner was decided by the order at lap 54. This granted the win to Fisichella, with Räikkönen 2nd.

As other teams improved their cars, McLaren, who were still using the 2002 chassis, began to falter in terms of race speed. However, Räikkönen finished 2nd at Imola. At the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, Räikkönen made a mistake in qualifying and had to start from the back of the grid, and at the start, he collided with Antônio Pizzonia, who was stuck on his grid position owing to a launch control problem, causing Räikkönen to retire from the race.

The next few races came down more to strategy rather than speed. Whilst having understeering problems Räikkönen defended his 2nd position from Rubens Barrichello in Austria. He came extremely close to winning at the Circuit de Monaco, but lost by less than a second to Juan Pablo Montoya. Starting from the pitlane in Canada after he went off track during qualifying with Understeer, Räikkönen finished 6th, more than a minute adrift of race winner Michael Schumacher.

Räikkönen at the 2003 French Grand Prix.

At the European Grand Prix, Räikkönen took pole, and controlled the race from the start until his engine failed on lap 25. Title rival Michael Schumacher finished 5th taking 4 points advantage from Räikkönen. Räikkönen finished 4th in France behind Schumacher but finished one point ahead of him with a 3rd place finish at the British Grand Prix. Räikkönen failed to finish the 2003 German Grand Prix after being involved in an accident at the first corner with Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. Räikkönen finished 2nd at the next race, the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Before the Italian GP the FIA were tipped-off by rivals Ferrari about a tyre-illegality in the Michelin tread width. Michelin were forced to bring in narrower tyres and it seemed as if they had lost the advantage they had been enjoying over Bridgestone all season. McLaren also announced that they would see out the season with old MP4-17D chassis and would not bring out the MP4-18 as had been planned. Räikkönen eventually finished 4th in the race, losing five championship points to race winner Michael Schumacher.

Räikkönen took pole at the US GP, but Michael Schumacher won the race with Räikkönen finishing 2nd. With one race to go, Schumacher only needed one point to win the championship. Räikkönen would need to win the next race with Schumacher not scoring any points. After qualifying 8th in Japan, Räikkönen finished 2nd while Michael Schumacher just slipped into the points to win his 6th World Championship. Montoya's retirement during the race also meant that Räikkönen finished 2nd in the championship, just two points behind Schumacher. The team also narrowly lost second place in the constructors' championship, finishing third, two points behind runners-up WilliamsF1, and 12 points behind Ferrari. Mathematically, Williams or McLaren could have won the championship at the very last race. The 2003 season was one of the closest in recent years.

2004

The 2004 Formula One season began with Räikkönen only claiming a single point in the first seven races. His McLaren, especially the Mercedes engine, suffered repeated breakdowns, allowing him to complete just two of the first seven events. After seven rounds Räikkönen had only one point to Michael Schumacher's 60. In Canada, Räikkönen made 5 pit-stops but was classified 5th since the Williams-BMWs and the two Toyotas were disqualified. At the US GP Räikkönen finished 6th.

At the French GP, McLaren rolled out the new MP4-19B. Räikkönen finished 7th behind his team-mate Coulthard. At Silverstone Räikkönen took pole and went on to finish second to Michael Schumacher. Following on from this encouraging display, the McLarens qualified on the 2nd row of the grid at Hockenheim, Germany. Both cars got off to a good start, however Räikkönen lost his rear wing on lap 13 of the race while following race leader Michael Schumacher. He retired again from the Hungarian GP after starting from 10th place on the grid, again on lap 13. At the Belgian Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified 10th, but took the lead on lap 11 and held on to it to take McLaren's only win of the season. He also took the fastest lap. The next weekend at Monza Räikkönen again retired on lap 13, this time owing to electrical problems. At the next race in China he finished 3rd, only 1.4 seconds behind race winner Rubens Barrichello.

At Japan, Räikkönen was shunted by Felipe Massa on the first lap of the race, which caused him handling problems. He later managed to make up some ground: he finished 6th, 2.5 seconds behind Alonso. At Brazil, he overtook pole sitter Barrichello, even before they had reached Curva De Sol. Räikkönen later battled Montoya for the lead and finished 1 second behind him in 2nd. Räikkönen ended the year seventh, with 45 points, only one behind sixth placed Jarno Trulli, and four podiums.

Despite the disappointment of the 2004 season, Räikkönen was still seen as one of the rising stars of the sport, along with Renault's Alonso and 2005 McLaren teammate Montoya. Many pundits predicted 2005 to be filled with great on-track battles from a resurgent team. He was also referred to by Ross Brawn and Jean Todt as a driver whom Ferrari might consider in the future. In early November 2004, Räikkönen announced his intention to create a racing team with his manager Steve Robertson, to be entitled Räikkönen Robertson Racing (otherwise known as "Double R"), which would compete in Formula 3 in 2005.

2005

Räikkönen at the 2005 Canadian Grand Prix.
Räikkönen at the 2005 United States Grand Prix.

Räikkönen's start to the 2005 Formula One season season was less than perfect. The car was reported to be too soft on its Michelin tyres, with the result that it wasn't generating enough heat to post competitive qualifying times.[8] The best qualifying position that a McLaren driver could manage in the first 3 races was 6th. Räikkönen compounded this by stalling on the grid of the first race of the season, the Australian Grand Prix, and ending the race with just a point. He looked set for a podium in Malaysia until a faulty tyre valve failed and dropped him out of the points. Bahrain saw him get his first podium of the season.

Räikkönen then achieved three consecutive poles at San Marino, Barcelona and Monte Carlo. An almost certain win was denied at Imola after a driveshaft failure, but he won the other two races, putting him within 22 points of leader Alonso. At the European Grand Prix, Räikkönen flat-spotted his right front tyre while lapping Jacques Villeneuve (some commentators put a share of the blame on Villeneuve, as he did not give Räikkönen the racing line). The resultant vibrations caused his suspension to fail while he led on the final lap, sending him into the tyre wall and handing a further ten points to his rival Alonso. Changing a tyre would have given him a relatively safe third place. However, tyre changes were only allowed in 2005 in cases where a "punctured or damaged tyre" could be changed for "clear and genuine safety reasons"[9] and there was no precedent for whether the stewards would consider a flat-spotted tyre dangerous enough. This incident, in part, resulted in a rules clarification allowing teams to change a flat-spotted tyre without punishment.[10]

Alonso's first major mistake of the 2005 season handed the Canadian Grand Prix to Räikkönen. The following weekend saw all the Michelin teams, including McLaren, withdraw from the United States Grand Prix for safety concerns. At the French Grand Prix Räikkönen suffered a ten-place grid-penalty following the replacement of his new specification Mercedes Benz engine which failed in Friday practice. Räikkönen, putting in what Ron Dennis called his best ever qualifying lap,[11] qualified 3rd (demoted to 13th) with a significant fuel load. He finished 2nd behind Fernando Alonso. A week later at the British Grand Prix Räikkönen suffered another Mercedes engine failure due to an oil leak; his 2nd place qualifying place became 12th. He claimed 3rd place in the race.

In the German Grand Prix Räikkönen was comfortably in the lead having dominated all weekend, but suffered a hydraulics failure, handing victory and a further 10 points to Alonso. It was his third retirement while leading a race during the season. On all three occasions, it was championship rival Alonso who took advantage to win. Significantly, at the opening of the Hungarian Grand Prix, though saying he was very comfortable at McLaren, Räikkönen raised the possibility that he might leave McLaren when his contract expired in 2006 if reliability issues were not solved.[12] He told a news conference, "We need to work in a better way just to make sure that the car is very reliable." However he went on to take the chequered flag with a convincing victory over Michael Schumacher.

Räikkönen won the Hungarian Grand Prix from the most handicapped qualifying position, having had to do his qualifying run first on the notoriously dusty and dirty track because of his early retirement a week earlier at Hockenheim. No other driver had previously managed this feat. Räikkönen then became the first ever winner of the Turkish Grand Prix. Two weeks later at the Italian Grand Prix, Räikkönen's pole position was taken from him as he received another 10-position grid penalty for an engine change. It would emerge that he had 5 laps of fuel more than teammate Montoya and 6 more than Alonso during qualifying - and still managed to outpace them. During the race, Räikkönen was forced to take an extra stop when his left-rear tyre delaminated, which dropped him down to 12th. He recovered, but spun his car after pushing too hard chasing the 3rd placed driver. He eventually finished fourth.

He went on to win, for the second year in a row, at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. The following race (the Brazilian Grand Prix) saw Alonso clinch the Drivers' Championship, after finishing third behind Montoya and Räikkönen. In the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix, at the Suzuka circuit in Japan, Räikkönen took his 7th victory of the season after starting 17th on the grid (as rain, and an engine failure for Räikkönen, had mixed up the qualifying grid). The win was secured when he overtook Renault driver Fisichella (who had started third on the grid, and had led most of the race) on the final lap - which Formula One journalist Peter Windsor thought the most impressive move of the race.[13]

Räikkönen received the F1 Racing "Driver of the Year" accolade,[14] and the Autosport "International Racing Driver of the Year" award.[15]

2006

Räikkönen testing for McLaren at Circuit de Valencia in early 2006.

In Bahrain, Räikkönen suffered electronic problems during Friday practice and a rear suspension breakage during the first qualifying session, which forced him back to 22nd place on the grid. Nevertheless he drove through the field, ending third behind Alonso and Michael Schumacher. In Malaysia, Räikkönen was hit from behind by Red Bull Racing's Christian Klien on the first lap. The impact caused a left rear suspension failure resulting in Räikkönen retiring from the race.

Having started the year clearly behind Renault, McLaren improved in Australia, where Räikkönen finished second after flat spotting a tyre and losing a wing end-plate, which caused him to fall off the pace somewhat around the midpoint of the race. Chasing down Alonso during the final stages of the race, he set the fastest lap of the race on the final lap, finishing only 1.8 seconds behind the Spaniard. At the San Marino Grand Prix a bad choice of strategy and a mistake from Räikkönen in qualifying (8th) saw the McLarens get caught in traffic in the early part of the race allowing Michael Schumacher and Alonso to get away at the front. Räikkönen eventually finished 5th, with team mate Montoya ahead in 3rd place. McLaren team boss Ron Dennis blamed Kimi Räikkönen's poor performance for the team's failure to finish in the top two in the race.[16]

Räikkönen testing for McLaren at Silverstone Circuit in April 2006.

At the Spanish Grand Prix Räikkönen qualified 9th. However at the start Räikkönen managed to get up to 5th place on the first lap. He retained this position for most of the race, finishing in 5th place. A few days after the Spanish Grand Prix, he admitted that he had no chance of winning the 2006 Championship.[17] In Monte Carlo, Räikkönen qualified third. During the race he got up to 2nd and kept pace with Alonso, however he retired during a safety car period after a failed heat shield led to a wiring loom inside the car catching fire. After the retirement he was seen on live TV walking along the Monaco sidewalks with his helmet still on to the harbour and climbing aboard a yacht.

The British Grand Prix at Silverstone saw Räikkönen qualify second behind Alonso and in front of Michael Schumacher. The running order was Alonso, Räikkönen, Schumacher until the second set of pitstops where Räikkönen was demoted to third by Schumacher, a position he held until the end of the race. At Canada, Räikkönen achieved another podium. In the United States Grand Prix, his teammate punted him out in an expensive seven car accident. The 2006 French Grand Prix saw Räikkönen qualify his car in sixth. His teammate was now former test driver Pedro de la Rosa in place of Montoya. Räikkönen ended the race in fifth. In Germany Räikkönen qualified on pole. After a battle with Button, he finished the race for the first time in his career, ending in third place. Another pole came in Hungary but he collided with Vitantonio Liuzzi after 25 laps, causing his fourth retirement of the season.

A first turn incident with Scott Speed at the Turkish Grand Prix led to an exploded tyre and suspension damage. After a tyre change, Räikkönen's race ended half way into the next lap when he ran into the barricade at turn 4. Räikkönen qualified on pole for the Italian Grand Prix by 2 thousandths of a second from Michael Schumacher. He led the early part of the race until the first pitstops where he was passed by Schumacher. He stayed in second place for the rest of the race. After the race Schumacher announced that he was retiring. Later Ferrari announced that he would be replaced in the 2007 season by Räikkönen.[18]

The Chinese Grand Prix saw another retirement for Räikkönen due to engine problems. His last two Grands Prix, in Japan and Brazil, did lead to 2 finishes, but he twice missed the podium. Räikkönen ended his time at McLaren-Mercedes with a fifth place in the World Drivers' Championship, with McLaren placing third in the World Constructors' Championship at the end of a winless year.

Räikkönen's British Formula Three Championship team Räikkönen Robertson Racing claimed their first major success, with British driver Mike Conway winning the 2006 British Formula Three season title and the prestigious Macau Grand Prix.

Ferrari (2007—)

After the 2006 Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari announced that Räikkönen had signed a three-year contract with Scuderia Ferrari for the 2007-2009 seasons. Räikkönen said after the move that he was very happy with this change of events but wished McLaren the best of luck in the future. He became the team mate to Brazilian Felipe Massa, who had been driving for Ferrari since 2006. Following the retirement of Michael Schumacher and his new deal with Ferrari, Räikkönen was estimated to be the highest paid driver in F1, with a base salary reportedly worth US $51M annually.[2]

2007

Räikkönen won his third race of 2007 Formula One season at 2007 British Grand Prix.

Räikkönen started the season in 2007 Australian Grand Prix by taking pole position, setting the fastest lap and becoming the first driver since Nigel Mansell in 1989 Formula One season to win his first Grand Prix with Ferrari. This was the first time in his career that he had managed the hat-trick of pole position, fastest lap and race victory. At the 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix Räikkönen was passed by Lewis Hamilton at the start and remained behind him for the rest of the race, finishing third. In the 2007 Bahrain Grand Prix, Räikkönen started from third but was passed by McLaren driver Fernando Alonso. He eventually regained 3rd position from Alonso and finished the race 3rd. At the 2007 Spanish Grand Prix Räikkönen retired after only 10 laps with an electrical problem. This took him down to fourth position in the Championship, behind team-mate Felipe Massa. In qualifying for the 2007 Monaco Grand Prix Räikkönen struck a barrier and broke his right front suspension. He started 16th and finished 8th.

In 2007 Canadian Grand Prix Räikkönen qualified fourth and finished fifth, Räikkönen's team-mate Massa was disqualified.[19] At the 2007 United States Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified fourth, finished fourth and recorded fastest lap of the race. After this race Räikkönen was 26 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers' Championship.

In 2007 French Grand Prix Räikkönen qualified third, but overtook Hamilton at the first corner of the race. He subsequently ran second, behind team-mate Massa, for much of the Grand Prix, but overtook the Brazilian during the Pit stop and took his second victory of the season. This was the 11th victory of his Formula One career, as well as Ferrari's first 1-2 win of the 2007 season.[20]

At the 2007 British Grand Prix Räikkönen qualified in second place, just missing the pole by running wide in the last corner. In the race, again took the lead through pit stops, first overtaking Lewis Hamilton midway through the race and then putting in fast laps as Fernando Alonso pitted for the second time in the closing stages to pass him. Räikkönen led to the end of the race.[21]

At the 2007 European Grand Prix Räikkönen captured his second pole position of the season, but retired from the race, run in heavy rain, with a problem with the hydraulics of the car.

At the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix Räikkönen qualified his car in fourth place, but started from third after Alonso was penalised. In the race he overtook Nick Heidfeld at the start and pressured Hamilton until the end, but had to settle for second. He set the fastest lap time on the last lap of the race, commenting after the race: "I was so bored behind Hamilton, I wanted to see how quick I could have been."

In 2007 Turkish Grand Prix Räikkönen missed pole position after making a mistake in the final sector of his fast lap, which left him third on the grid. On race day he overtook Hamilton in the first corner and took second place, which he kept to the end of the race.

At 2007 Italian Grand Prix third practice session, Räikkönen crashed into the tyre wall before entering the Ascari chicane. He qualified in fifth place, and raced in the Ferrari reserve car while suffering from a neck problem. The Ferrari team employed an unusual one-stop strategy, which left him third after Hamilton passed him late in the race on fresh tyres. [22]

Räikkönen at 2007 Belgian Grand Prix, where he won his fourth race of the year.

At 2007 Belgian Grand Prix, Räikkönen's favourite circuit.[23] he secured pole position again and took his fourth victory of the season. Massa finished second, Alonso third and Hamilton fourth. This was also Räikkönen's third consecutive Spa win, which placed him among six other drivers with three or more Spa wins.

At the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix, the only new track on the 2007 calendar, Räikkönen qualified in third position, while Hamilton took pole and Alonso second. In an extremely wet race, which saw the first 19 laps run behind the Safety car, both Räikkönen and team-mate Massa were badly affected by having to change to extreme wet tyres during the early stages, because the FIA's tyre-rule notification arrived late at Ferrari.[24] Towards the end of the race, Räikkönen moved through the field to third place, but could not pass his countryman Heikki Kovalainen for second.

At the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai International Circuit, Räikkönen dominated the whole weekend with fastest laps in the free-practice sessions. In qualifying, Hamilton took pole position with a lighter fuel load, while Räikkönen qualified second and Massa third. There was light rainfall at the beginning of the race which prompted the cars to start on intermediate tyres. After the first round of pit stops Hamilton lost grip as his tyres suffered graining, and Räikkönen overtook him. Hamilton retired after sliding into a gravel trap in the pit lane. Räikkönen took his fifth win of the season, that revived his title hopes before the last race of the season. This was also the 200th race win and 600th podium in Ferrari's Formula One history. Räikkönen moved to seven and three points behind Hamilton and Alonso in the Drivers' Championship, respectively, going into the last race in Brazil, the first three-way title battle in the final race of the season since 1986 Formula One season.

Räikkönen celebrating victory at the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Räikkönen took the 2007 Formula One Drivers' title with victory in the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix at Autódromo José Carlos Pace, in an incident-packed race. Massa had taken pole, followed by Hamilton, Räikkönen, and Alonso. At the start of the race Räikkönen passed Hamilton on the outside and lined up behind Massa. Alonso shortly afterwards passed Hamilton, who fell progressively down the order. Massa, who was already eliminated from contention for the Driver's Championship in the Japanese Grand Prix, yielded the lead to Räikkönen at the second round of pit stops. Räikkönen went on to take the Racing flag, which handed him the crown by a single point from Hamilton and Alonso. Championship leader Hamilton eventually finished the race in seventh place, while defending champion Alonso managed third.

While Räikkönen had only one point more than Alonso and Hamilton at the end of the season, he had the most victories (six compared to four by each McLaren driver).[25]

Räikkönen's Drivers' championship was put into doubt when race stewards began an investigation after identifying possible fuel irregularities in the cars of Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld following post-race inspection. Their disqualification and a race reclassification would have seen Hamilton lifted from seventh to fourth in the race result.[26][27][28] However the race stewards decided that no sanctions would be given, meaning the results would stand[29]. McLaren appealed against the decision.[30], however the FIA Court of Appeal rejected their appeal on 16 November 2007 thus confirming Räikkönen as the champion.[31]

2008

After a disappointing first week for Ferrari in Australia where Räikkönen eventually finished eighth after starting 15th on the grid owing to a mechanical problem in qualifying, he won his first race of the 2008 Formula One season at the 2008 Malaysian Grand Prix, finishing ahead of Robert Kubica and Heikki Kovalainen. His victory at Kuala Lumpur came on the fifth anniversary of his maiden victory at the same track. In 2008 Bahrain Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified in fourth on the grid. He moved up to second place by the third lap and finished in that position, behind his team-mate Felipe Massa.

Räikkönen took his first win of 2008 Formula One season at the 2008 Malaysian Grand Prix.

In 2008 Spanish Grand Prix, Räikkönen took the 15th pole of his career and his first of the 2008 season. He managed to take his second race win of the season and the fastest lap of the race. Räikkönen overtook Mika Häkkinen in the list of total number of fastest laps and also in terms of podium finishes, making him the highest ranked Finnish driver in these statistics.

In 2008 Turkish Grand Prix Räikkönen qualified in fourth place. Despite damaging his front wing in the early stages after a collision with fellow Finn Heikki Kovalainen, Räikkönen was still able to set the fastest lap and finish in third place.

At 2008 Monaco Grand Prix Räikkönen qualified in second behind Felipe Massa. Räikkönen stayed second behind Massa until he was given a drive-through penalty for an infringement by the team on his car and dropped down to sixth. He was set for fifth until an incident with Adrian Sutil, when Räikkönen lost control on the damp track after exiting the tunnel, and hit Sutil's car in the rear. Räikkönen's car was not badly damaged and he was able to finish in ninth after replacing his front wing, also setting the fastest lap in the process. [32] After the race, Mike Gascoyne, the Chief Technology Officer of Force India announced they were filing official protests with the stewards over the incident, demanding a ban for Räikkönen. [33] However, the stewards decided not to penalise him.

Räikkönen driving for Ferrari at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.
Räikkönen at the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, where he crashed on the penultimate lap after a duel with Lewis Hamilton.

In 2008 Canadian Grand Prix Räikkönen qualified third. During the race, he was slow for the first few laps, but managed to increase pace and set the fastest lap. He started to catch up with Robert Kubica who was in second place when Adrian Sutil's car broke down in a dangerous position, bringing out the safety car. Räikkönen entered the pitlane and after the stops both he and Kubica jumped ahead of race leader Lewis Hamilton in the pitlane. Facing a red light at the end of the pitlane, Räikkönen stopped and waited for the signal to allow them back on to the circuit, with Kubica alongside him. Hamilton failed to stop at the red light and hit the rear of Räikkönen's Ferrari, eliminating both cars.

Räikkönen went on to take his 16th pole position in 2008 French Grand Prix, which was the 200th pole for Scuderia Ferrari. [34]Räikkönen dominated the race as he set the fastest lap and had a six second lead until a bank exhaust failure some half way through the race reduced his engine's power. He gave up the lead to his teammate Massa, but was far enough ahead of Toyota F1's Jarno Trulli, to secure second place and eight points.[35]

Räikkönen qualified third at the 2008 British Grand Prix.[36] Before the race, Räikkönen pushed noted photographer Paul-Henri Cahier to the ground as he lined up a close-up shot. Raikkönen's manager Steve Robertson claimed the driver was provoked by Cahier touching him with his lens and standing on his belongings, but Cahier disputed this version of events. [37] [38] The race was in wet conditions and Räikkönen stayed third at the first corner behind Hamilton and Kovalainen. He kept pace and got up to second when Kovalainen spun. He then chased after Hamilton, and set the fastest lap as he drew up directly behind the McLaren. During the first pitstop, Ferrari did not change the intermediates on his car in the hope that the track would become dry. However, the track was hit by another shower, and Räikkönen rapidly lost pace, and dropped down to sixth before finally pitting for new tyres. He finished fourth, a lap down.

In the 2008 German Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified sixth and dropped down a place at the first corner. He was running fifth when the safety car came out after a crash involving Timo Glock. His teammate Felipe Massa was ahead of him on the track, and when the pitlane opened, Räikkönen was forced to wait behind Massa. This incident dropped him down to 12th. He managed to finish in sixth.

In the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix Räikkönen qualified sixth. He remained in sixth position at the beginning of the race and managed to finish third owing to Massa's retirement after an engine failure, Hamilton's tyre puncture and passing Fernando Alonso during the pitstops.

During the 2008 European Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified fourth and lost a place at the start to Kovalainen. He stayed fifth until the second round of pitstops when he exited before the fuel hose was properly disengaged from his car and left one of the mechanics with a fractured toe. [39]. Two laps later, he suffered similar problems to Massa in the previous race; his engine's con rod broke and he was forced to retire.[40]

At the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, Räikkönen again qualified fourth. He passed Kovalainen and Massa at the start to be second, and passed Hamilton on the second lap to lead. He pulled away, setting the fastest lap of the race and built a five second gap. He looked set to win but owing to a late-race rain shower, Hamilton closed right up to his rear wing and tried to pass him at the final chicane with two laps to go. Hamilton cut the chicane and rejoined ahead of Räikkönen. He let Räikkönen take the place back and once he was ahead, Hamilton took the inside line and retook the lead. The two battled on for the rest of the lap, with Räikkönen retaking the lead when the two stumbled upon spinning backmarker Nico Rosberg, forcing Hamilton onto the grass. Räikkönen spun at the next corner and fell behind Hamilton again. While trying to catch up, he spun again and smashed into a wall and retired.

At the 2008 Italian Grand Prix, which was held in extremely wet conditions, Räikkönen qualified 14th. He stayed on the 14th position for the first two stints. He climbed to ninth position in the third and last stint in which he also set the fastest lap of the race.

In 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, the first night-time event in Formula One history, Räikkönen qualified third behind Massa and Hamilton. He remained in this position for most of the early laps. On lap 14, Nelson Piquet Jr.'s Renault F1 hit the wall at turn 17 and the safety car was deployed. Both Ferrari drivers pitted during the safety car period, with Räikkönen queued behind Massa in a busy pitlane. Ferrari released Massa before the fuel hose was disconnected from the car, which compromised Räikkönen who rejoined in 16th. Räikkönen managed to climb to fifth place, but on lap 57, while attacking Timo Glock, he hit the wall at turn 10 and retired.[41] [42] He set the fastest lap of the race as his tenth of the season. This equalled Michael Schumacher's 2004 record of ten fastest laps in a Formula One season. [43]

At the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix at the Fuji Speedway circuit, Räikkönen qualified second on the grid, behind Hamilton, and took the lead at the start. Closing up to turn 1, Hamilton attempted to pass on the inside, braked late and went wide,[44] forcing Räikkönen to also go wide.[45] Räikkönen lost out heavily and went down to seventh position. He gained places after a collision between Hamilton and Massa, Kovalainen's hydraulic failure and an overtaking manoeuvre on Jarno Trulli. He eventually finished third, behind Renault's Fernando Alonso and BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica.[46] This result meant that it was impossible for Räikkönen to retain his Drivers' Championship title for the second year. [47]

In 2008 Chinese Grand Prix, he qualified second and finished the race third behind championship contenders Hamilton and Massa. [48]

Räikkönen won the DHL Fastest Lap award for the second year in a row. He set 10 fastest laps throughout the season.

Personal life


Räikkönen married Jenni Dahlman, a Finnish model and former Miss Scandinavia, on July 31, 2004. They currently live in Switzerland. His older brother, Rami Räikkönen, is a Rallying driver and a national junior-class champion, who also competes in the Finnish Formula 3 Championship. His father Matti was a road builder.[49]

Räikkönen's hobbies include Snowboarding and Ice hockey.[50] During his spare time he can often be seen watching his hometown icehockey team Espoo Blues play. He has also competed in several different kinds of motorsport events. In March 2007, while his Formula One rivals were in Australia preparing for the season opener, Räikkönen competed in a Snowmobile race in Finland under the pseudonym "James Hunt", referring to the 1976 world champion whose "playboy" lifestyle has been compared with Räikkönen's own.[51] Räikkönen won the Enduro Sprint race by over 20 seconds with his Lynx (snowmobile) MaMo.[52] Later in the year, he and two friends entered a Powerboat race in the Finnish harbour city of Hanko while wearing Gorilla suits. Again, he raced under the name "James Hunt".[53] They then won a prize for the best-dressed crew.[54]

In January 2005, at a London Mayfair Strip club called "For Your Eyes Only", Räikkönen allegedly stunned onlookers by cavorting with a lapdancer before launching into his own strip show.[55] It proved an embarrassment to McLaren officials who were unveiling the new McLaren MP4-20 car in the same month. Chief executive Martin Whitmarsh admitted that Räikkönen may have been naive.[56]

Räikkönen has often been compared to his predecessor as Ferrari lead driver, Michael Schumacher. Schumacher, who is married and has two children, was very protective of his private life and disliked the celebrity spotlight.

There had been some speculation in the media that Räikkönen was contemplating retirement from Formula One at the end of the 2009 season. However, on September 12 2008, it was confirmed by Ferrari that the team will keep the Räikkönen-Massa formation until the end of the 2010 season.

Räikkönen has previously stated that he will continue racing after his career in Formula One. Malcolm Wilson of the BP Ford World Rally Team has said he will consider offering Räikkönen a test in one of the team's cars, raising speculation that the Finn could move to the series after Formula One. It has been reported as well that Fiat would be thrilled to have Räikkönen as a driver for Abarth when the Fiat-owned company enters WRC.[57] Hans-Jürgen Abt, Managing Director of the Audi championship team Abt Sportsline, also said he would like to have Räikkönen on his DTM team.[58] Räikkönen made his rally debut at the Arctic Lapland Rally, which ran from 22 to 24 January 2009, driving an Abarth Grande Punto S2000. He finished in 13th place. [59]

On Friday, September 12 2008, Kimi Räikkönen was confirmed through the 2010 season with Ferrari. [60]

In August 2008, it was announced that Räikkönen would appear on a set of Finnish postage stamps. The stamps, which were released to commemorate the Finnish postal service's 370th anniversary, feature images of him racing and on the podium, with the words "F1 World Champion '07 Kimi Räikkönen".[61]

Results and records


Career summary

Season Series Team Name Races Poles Wins Points Final Placing
1999 Formula Ford  ? 2  ?  ?  ? 5th
Formula Ford Continental Racing Van Diemen 1 0 0 N/A NC
British Formula Renault Championship Manor Motorsport 4  ? 4  ? 1st
British Formula Renault Championship Haywood Racing 4 0 0  ?  ?
2000 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0  ? 2 2 2 62 7th
British Formula Renault Championship Manor Motorsport 10 6 7 316 1st
2001 2001 Formula One season Sauber 17 0 0 9 10th
2002 2002 Formula One season McLaren 17 0 0 24 6th
2003 2003 Formula One season McLaren 16 2 1 91 2nd
2004 2004 Formula One season McLaren 18 1 1 45 7th
2005 2005 Formula One season McLaren 19 5 7 112 2nd
2006 2006 Formula One season McLaren 18 3 0 65 5th
2007 2007 Formula One season Ferrari 17 3 6 110 1st
2008 2008 Formula One season Ferrari 18 2 2 75 3rd

Complete Formula One results

(F1 driver results legend 2) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 WDC Points
2001 Formula One season Sauber Petronas Sauber Sauber C20 Petronas 01A 3.0 V10 engine 2001 Australian Grand Prix
6
2001 Malaysian Grand Prix
Ret
2001 Brazilian Grand Prix
Ret
2001 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
2001 Spanish Grand Prix
8
2001 Austrian Grand Prix
4
2001 Monaco Grand Prix
10
2001 Canadian Grand Prix
4
2001 European Grand Prix
10
2001 French Grand Prix
7
2001 British Grand Prix
5
2001 German Grand Prix
Ret
2001 Hungarian Grand Prix
7
2001 Belgian Grand Prix
Ret
2001 Italian Grand Prix
7
2001 United States Grand Prix
Ret
2001 Japanese Grand Prix
Ret
10th 9
2002 Formula One season West (cigarette) McLaren Mercedes-Benz in motorsport McLaren McLaren MP4-17 Mercedes FO 110M 3.0 V10 2002 Australian Grand Prix
3
2002 Malaysian Grand Prix
Ret
2002 Brazilian Grand Prix
12
2002 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
2002 Spanish Grand Prix
Ret
2002 Austrian Grand Prix
Ret
2002 Monaco Grand Prix
Ret
2002 Canadian Grand Prix
4
2002 European Grand Prix
3
2002 British Grand Prix
Ret
2002 French Grand Prix
2
2002 German Grand Prix
Ret
2002 Hungarian Grand Prix
4
2002 Belgian Grand Prix
Ret
2002 Italian Grand Prix
Ret
2002 United States Grand Prix
Ret
2002 Japanese Grand Prix
3
6th 24
2003 Formula One season West McLaren Mercedes McLaren McLaren MP4-17 Mercedes FO 110M/P 3.0 V10 2003 Australian Grand Prix
3
2003 Malaysian Grand Prix
1
2003 Brazilian Grand Prix
2
2003 San Marino Grand Prix
2
2003 Spanish Grand Prix
Ret
2003 Austrian Grand Prix
2
2003 Monaco Grand Prix
2
2003 Canadian Grand Prix
6
2003 European Grand Prix
Ret
2003 French Grand Prix
4
2003 British Grand Prix
3
2003 German Grand Prix
Ret
2003 Hungarian Grand Prix
2
2003 Italian Grand Prix
4
2003 United States Grand Prix
2
2003 Japanese Grand Prix
2
2nd 91
2004 Formula One season West McLaren Mercedes McLaren McLaren MP4-19 Mercedes FO 110Q 3.0 V10 2004 Australian Grand Prix
Ret
2004 Malaysian Grand Prix
Ret
2004 Bahrain Grand Prix
Ret
2004 San Marino Grand Prix
8
2004 Spanish Grand Prix
11
2004 Monaco Grand Prix
Ret
2004 European Grand Prix
Ret
2004 Canadian Grand Prix
5
2004 United States Grand Prix
6
7th 45
McLaren McLaren MP4-19 2004 French Grand Prix
7
2004 British Grand Prix
2
2004 German Grand Prix
Ret
2004 Hungarian Grand Prix
Ret
2004 Belgian Grand Prix
1
2004 Italian Grand Prix
Ret
2004 Chinese Grand Prix
3
2004 Japanese Grand Prix
6
2004 Brazilian Grand Prix
2
2005 Formula One season Team McLaren Mercedes McLaren McLaren MP4-20 Mercedes FO 110R 3.0 V10 2005 Australian Grand Prix
8
2005 Malaysian Grand Prix
9
2005 Bahrain Grand Prix
3
2005 San Marino Grand Prix
Ret
2005 Spanish Grand Prix
1
2005 Monaco Grand Prix
1
2005 European Grand Prix
11
2005 Canadian Grand Prix
1
2005 United States Grand Prix
DNS
2005 French Grand Prix
2
2005 British Grand Prix
3
2005 German Grand Prix
Ret
2005 Hungarian Grand Prix
1
2005 Turkish Grand Prix
1
2005 Italian Grand Prix
4
2005 Belgian Grand Prix
1
2005 Brazilian Grand Prix
2
2005 Japanese Grand Prix
1
2005 Chinese Grand Prix
2
2nd 112
2006 Formula One season Team McLaren Mercedes McLaren McLaren MP4-21 Mercedes FO 108S 2.4 V8 engine 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix
3
2006 Malaysian Grand Prix
Ret
2006 Australian Grand Prix
2
2006 San Marino Grand Prix
5
2006 European Grand Prix
4
2006 Spanish Grand Prix
5
2006 Monaco Grand Prix
Ret
2006 British Grand Prix
3
2006 Canadian Grand Prix
3
2006 United States Grand Prix
Ret
2006 French Grand Prix
5
2006 German Grand Prix
3
2006 Hungarian Grand Prix
Ret
2006 Turkish Grand Prix
Ret
2006 Italian Grand Prix
2
2006 Chinese Grand Prix
Ret
2006 Japanese Grand Prix
5
2006 Brazilian Grand Prix
5
5th 65
2007 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari
Marlboro (cigarette)
Ferrari F2007 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 2007 Australian Grand Prix
1
2007 Malaysian Grand Prix
3
2007 Bahrain Grand Prix
3
2007 Spanish Grand Prix
Ret
2007 Monaco Grand Prix
8
2007 Canadian Grand Prix
5
2007 United States Grand Prix
4
2007 French Grand Prix
1
2007 British Grand Prix
1
2007 European Grand Prix
Ret
2007 Hungarian Grand Prix
2
2007 Turkish Grand Prix
2
2007 Italian Grand Prix
3
2007 Belgian Grand Prix
1
2007 Japanese Grand Prix
3
2007 Chinese Grand Prix
1
2007 Brazilian Grand Prix
1
1st 110
2008 Formula One season Scuderia Ferrari
Marlboro
Ferrari F2008 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 2008 Australian Grand Prix
8
2008 Malaysian Grand Prix
1
2008 Bahrain Grand Prix
2
2008 Spanish Grand Prix
1
2008 Turkish Grand Prix
3
2008 Monaco Grand Prix
9
2008 Canadian Grand Prix
Ret
2008 French Grand Prix
2
2008 British Grand Prix
4
2008 German Grand Prix
6
2008 Hungarian Grand Prix
3
2008 European Grand Prix
Ret
2008 Belgian Grand Prix
18
2008 Italian Grand Prix
9
2008 Singapore Grand Prix
15
2008 Japanese Grand Prix
3
2008 Chinese Grand Prix
3
2008 Brazilian Grand Prix
3
3rd 75

Formula One records and achievements

  • In 2005 Formula One season Räikkönen equalled the record of wins in a single season without winning the World Title (7), shared with four time World Champion Alain Prost, who initially set the record in 1984 Formula One season and matched it in 1988 Formula One season, and also with Michael Schumacher, in 2006 Formula One season.
  • In the 2005 and 2008 Formula One season seasons, he equalled Michael Schumacher's record of 10 fastest race laps in a season, set in 2004 Formula One season.
  • He currently holds the third highest record for total fastest laps at 35 (up to and including the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix), thus making him the highest ranked driver still active.
  • In 2008, Silverstone marked his sixth fastest race lap in a row (Spain, Turkey, Monaco, Canada, France, Britain), passing Michael Schumacher with 5 and 1 behind record holder Alberto Ascari with 7. His 6 consecutive fastest laps put him level with Alberto Ascari for most consecutive fastest laps in single season. Ascari's 7 were set over 2 years with 6 in 1952 and 1 in 1953.
  • He is the first driver to win on his Ferrari debut since Nigel Mansell at the 1989 Brazilian Grand Prix and the first to win, set the fastest lap and Pole Position on his Ferrari debut since Juan Manuel Fangio at the 1956 Argentine Grand Prix.
  • As of 2008 Räikkönen is currently the highest paid driver in Formula One, with a reputed base salary of $51m per year.[2]
  • The 2007 Chinese Grand Prix saw Räikkönen give Scuderia Ferrari their 200th Formula One GP win, as well as their 600th podium (along with team-mate Felipe Massa who finished in 3rd).
  • At the France Grand Prix 2007 Kimi gave Ferrari the 200th Pole Position.
  • Räikkönen is the second driver to win the World Championship after being third in the drivers standings before the final race. Giuseppe Farina, the first F1 World Champion, was the first to do this in 1950 Formula One season, beating Juan Manuel Fangio by three points and Luigi Fagioli by six points.
  • Räikkönen is the third Ferrari driver after Juan Manuel Fangio and Jody Scheckter to win the world title in their first year with the team.
  • Räikkönen is the third Finnish driver to win the World Championship, after Keke Rosberg and Mika Häkkinen. He is also the most successful Finnish Formula One driver in terms of points, podium finishes and fastest laps.
  • Räikkönen also holds the record for the most wins in a debut year with Ferrari with 6, beating Alain Prost's previous record of 5 from 1990 although Michael Schumacher has the most wins in a first title-winning season with 9 set in 2000.

See also

  • List of Finns
  • Flying Finn (sports)

References

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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Forumula1.net - Raikkonen is F1's highest paid driver
  3. Forbes 100 Celebrities 2008 - #36 Kimi Raikkonen
  4. Kulta, Heikki. "Hyvää kannatti odottaa kauan" (in Finnish). Turun Sanomat. http://www.turunsanomat.fi/f1/?ts=1,3:2001:0:0,4:34:621:1:2007-10-22;4:35:0:0:0;4:36:0:0:0,104:34:493566,1:0:0:0:0:0:. Retrieved on 2007-10-21. 
  5. Tremayne, David. "Cool as Ice: Kimi Raikkonen". Formula One Magazine (official). December 2003. Page 63.
  6. Hamilton, Maurice - "No fuss, just fast". The Guardian 2008-03-09
  7. 7.0 7.1 Tremayne, David. "Cool as Ice: Kimi Raikkonen". Formula One Magazine (official). December 2003. Page 58.
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  9. BBC Sport – Coulthard condemns F1 tyre rules
  10. Pitpass.com – FIA clarifies tyre ruling
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  12. ITV - Kimi: Don't take me for granted
  13. ITV - Peter Windsor's Chinese GP Preview
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  35. "Third win of the season for Massa". F1 Live. 2008-06-22. http://en.f1-live.com/f1/en/headlines/news/detail/080622160456.shtml. 
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  37. "Kimi branded 'arrogant' after grid fracas". ITV. 2008-07-08. http://www.itv-f1.com/news_article.aspx?id=43301. Retrieved on 2008-09-01. 
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  40. "Raikkonen engine problem same as Massa's". GPUpdate.net. 2008-08-26. http://f1.gpupdate.net/en/news/2008/08/26/raikkonen-engine-problem-same-as-massa-s/. Retrieved on 2008-09-01. 
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Bibliography

  • Nevalainen, Petri (2008-10-22). 'Jäämies - Kimi Räikkösen henkilökuva (The Iceman - a portrait of Kimi Räikkönen). Helsinki: Ajatus Kirjat. pp. 224 pages. ISBN 978-9512078059. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Antônio Pizzonia
British Formula Renault Championship
2000
Succeeded by
Carl Breeze
Preceded by
Fernando Alonso
List of Formula One World Drivers' Champions
2007 Formula One season
Succeeded by
Lewis Hamilton
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Michael Schumacher
Lorenzo Bandini Trophy
2004
Succeeded by
Fernando Alonso
Preceded by
Jenson Button
Autosport
International Driver of the Year

2005
Succeeded by
Fernando Alonso
Preceded by
first winner
DHL Express Fastest Lap Award
2007 Formula One season-2008 Formula One season
Succeeded by
Incumbent


Persondata
NAME Räikkönen, Kimi
ALTERNATIVE NAMES Räikkönen, Kimi Matias
SHORT DESCRIPTION Formula 1 driver
DATE OF BIRTH October 17, 1979
PLACE OF BIRTH Espoo, Finland
DATE OF DEATH
PLACE OF DEATH


Ast:Kimi Räikkönen

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