6:19 | 7.03.2013 | Viewed []

Raikkonen: "I Am in Formula 1 to Achieve Victory"

Exclusive interview with Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen is one of the best racing drivers of modern Formula 1. He became champion in 2007. Kimi got in Formula 1 from the British Formula Renault. His first race outside Finland was in Monaco at the age of 15.

It was kart racing. During the race, his steering wheel broke but he did not stop. Kimi informed his mechanic with his decision by waving the steering wheel in the air. His second race in Monaco was also memorable. After the collision in the first lap, he was thrown to the safety zone. He lifted his kart back on the track and continued racing. His mechanic thought Kimi had retired but he was the third to cross the finish line!

You may remember incident at last Brazilian Grand Prix. Raikkonen went off-track and tried to rejoin by using an access road. He finished tenth.

Saying “Leave me alone, I know what I am doing” became vintage sign of Kimi. He said it in team radio at last Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when his teammates advised him to race faster. He won the race…

In this season Raikkonen plans to fight for all titles. Of course, an interview (taken with the help of “Renault” company) with him will be interesting for our readers…



-         After the tests you have your opinion about new E21. How do you think, is it better than last year’s car?

-         I think, yes. Of course, this car is better than last year’s one. How good is this car? I do not know yet. The season will show it. It will be very long and we must try to start it well. Let us see…

-         What can you say about Romain Grosjean? How do you think, will he distinguish himself in this season?

-         Romain is quite fast racer and he proved that last year. He had some problems while the race but now he is quite experienced. Who knows, perhaps, he will race better or worse in this season… it may happen to anyone. We cannot promise anything. We can only do our best.

-         Who was your favorite F1 racer in your childhood?

-         I did not have idols. I always supported Finnish racers but I have never had favorite one. I was interested in sports side of the racers.

-         What have you won and lost with moving to World Rally Championship? What is the difference between these two sports? Which one is more interesting?

-         They are fundamentally different and I like both. I like participating in rally racing. It was tough for me there because I lacked experience. If I had chance now, I would race on the track with great pleasure. But it is impossible to compare Formula One and rally. They are very different from each other.

-         If not “Lotus”, would you have been at World Rally Championship again?

-         I like racing. When you like something, you want to be the best. In this regard, F1 is the best place. I am back to Formula in order to fight for the championship title again.

-          What is the main difference among “Sauber”, “McLaren”, “Ferrari” and “Lotus”?

-         They are different. I mean not only racing aspect but their work too. Swiss, Italians, Englishmen… they all do one job – they fight for the best results. But they have their individual approach. I cannot say there are correct or incorrect methods of achieving goal. But the approach is always different.

-         You are called iceman. Is there anything that can make you angry?

-         Of course. I think everybody can get angry.

-         Who gave you this nickname?

-         It was a very long time ago. I think Ron Dennis (executive chairman of McLaren);

-         World five champions participate in F1. If not Kimi Raikkonen, who is the best among them?

-          Sebastian Vettel became champion several times in a row. I think he is a strong rival. Two racers were ahead of us in the previous season. Let us see what will happen in this season. I hope we will have better results.

-         What does F1 racer feels while standing on the highest level of the pedestal? Or on the second or on the third level?

-         Of course, it is the best to stand in the middle. You are happy because you achieved for what you worked so much. The second and third places are not bad but you are in F1 to achieve success.

-         For what do you risk your life – money, adrenaline, fame?

-         I think we do not think that we risk our lives. It is not right. It is the work which we like and that is why, we do it.

-         Which car do you drive every day?

-         Of course, “Renault”.

-         Which model?

-          “Megane”.

-         Do you drive fast out of the track?

-         No. When I was younger it did it but now – no.

-         If not the races, what would you have done?

-         Perhaps, I would have been in other sport. For example, motor sport or I would have worked as a mechanic.

-         Now you are 33 years old. F1 got younger. How long do you plan staying in F1?

-         I do not have any plans. Perhaps, it will happen in the next season or after ten years, who knows…

-         It is said Formula 1 is not so attractive anymore. What do you think about it?

-         All kinds of sport changes. It is usual process. In my opinion, last season was very interesting. Some like, some – not.

-         After F1 do you want to continue in other series? Besides rally, you participated in NASCAR races… Perhaps, it will be interesting to compete in INDYCAR and Le Mans…

-         I do not know. I do not have any plans. Time will show.

-         How do you think, is it good to end up career on the peak?

-         Some have choice, some – no. Some cannot achieve their goal. Finally, everybody makes the decision which he thinks is right.




Merab Lortkipanidze