Tag Archives: Kimi Raikkonen

The Iceman Cometh?

While the F1 circus makes its next stop for the first time ever in India this weekend, the big rumor buzzing around is that 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, or better known to F1 fans as the Iceman, is making a comeback next season with the Williams team.  Raikkonen was already spotted visiting the Williams factory earlier this season, and reports are that the visit was more than just a casual tour.

After winning his lone championship in 2007, Raikkonen’s F1 career tailed off, as he was outdriven in 2008 by teammate Felipe Massa, and in 2009 looked absolutely disinterested in what was a write-off season due to the F60’s lack of pace.  To say that Ferrari is passionate about their racing is an understatement, and I imagine they must been frustrated by the Iceman’s unenthusiastic demeanor, and proceeded to give Raikkonen the axe at the end of 2009.  At the time, he was the second highest paid athlete in the world behind only Tiger Woods.  His separation from Ferrari and F1, while not exactly a surprise, was a big blow to the F1 community.  While his personality off the track left some fans wanting for more, his raw speed was undeniable.  And his persona in many ways perfectly complemented his racing style.  Stone cold, no mistakes.  To give you an idea of the enigma that is the Iceman, here’s a few clips from his storied F1 career.

You might be thinking the creator of that video was unfairly trying to portray Raikkonen as being stoic and emotionless about his winning his first grand prix.  Here’s the unedited video of the post race press conference, you can judge for yourself.

Not convinced?  Here’s the Iceman after winning his first Drivers championship on the last race of one of the most thrilling seasons in the modern history of F1.

Smile, Kimi, you just made history.  My favorite moment is his response to a question from Peter Windsor at the 3:00 mark.  And here’s Kimi after his last win in F1 back in 2009.

Starting to notice a pattern?

If Raikkonen does return to F1, his addition would make next year’s driver linup one of the most illustrious of all time, with six world champions on the grid(Schumi, Vettel, Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Button).  Raikkonen belongs in F1, and after two years of racing rally cars and inexplicably racing part time in NASCAR, it seems he’s ready to make his return.  Given Williams’ atrocious performance this season, it’s highly unlikely that Raikkonen will be able to compete for race wins let alone the Drivers championship.  But F1 fans, including myself, are eagerly anticipating seeing the Iceman back in the paddock.

It’s safe to say that Raikkonen is one of the most unusual personalities in all of motorsport.  But if he could speak for himself I imagine he would say that his goal is to be a very fast driver who pushes his car to the maximum and he always makes sure to thank his team for their support and he appreciates the effort they make to make sure his car is fast and for that he wants to say thanks and he’s very happy for what they’ve achieved.

MP

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Where have you gone, Iceman?

2007 world champion and former McLaren and Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen is once again the subject of F1 rumor mills.  The Iceman is one of my favorite sports personalities of all time.    For considerable parts of his F1 career, he was the fastest driver/car combination on the track, and the coolest guy off it.  Along with Keke Rosberg and Mika Hakkinen, he continued the unique tradition of Finnish drivers with illustrious careers in F1.  He’s also received his fair share of criticism for being too relaxed and unpassionate in his approach to racing in F1.  Personally, I think the criticism is shortsighted, but you be the judge:

That was him in the post race press conference at Brazil in 2007 after he just won his first and only world championship.  I acknowledge he was unusually restrained and unemotional about what he just accomplished, but that’s why he’s the Iceman.  Ice cold, no mistakes.  He’s inspired a league of impersonations by his fans, here’s my favorite:

The kid absolutely nails it, as does his lispy young friend playing the interviewer Peter Windsor.  But make no mistake, Raikkonen is anything but a boring or uninteresting person.  Here’s a nice montage of his body of work:

The Top Gun-esque undertones and unintentional comedy in that clip is priceless.

So where is Kimi now you ask?  Well, he originally was supposed be finishing out his 4 year contract for Ferrari, but they decided to prematurely terminate it after the 2009 season.  They felt that he was no longer the faster driver between himself and teammate Felipe Massa, so they decided to sign archrival and double world champion Fernando Alonso in his place.  He was self-admittedly not as fast as Massa during the 2008 season, and the 2009 season was a write off for both Ferrari drivers largely due to the F60’s lack of pace.  Raikkonen did, however, score the team’s lone win at the legendary Spa circuit in Belgium.  But you know how those Italians can be, I’m guessing Luca di Montezemolo wasn’t too ecstatic over the lack of passione in the Iceman’s disposition.  Despite being one of the fastest and most experienced drivers in F1, he failed to secure a seat with another team for this season, although if Schumi didn’t make his comeback with Mercedes, it’s likely he would’ve ended up there.  Instead, Kimi is now rally racing in the WRC series, where he’s had his share of growing pains.  Here’s one last clip of him racing in Mexico this past March.

He seemed a little flustered after that tumbler, maybe he’s finally cracked!  Anywho, the Flying Finn is strongly linked with a comeback in 2011, and Red Bull is rumored to be one of the teams vying for his signature.  A Vettel/Raikkonen pairing would be an absolute powerhouse driver duo, and I’m assuming this means Mark Webber would be the odd man out at Red Bull.  Whatever he decides, the important thing is that he continues to race, which means the world won’t be deprived of his priceless interviews with the media.  I’m sure the Iceman himself would say that whatever happens in the future he’s not going to worry about it and for sure he’s just going to enjoy racing cars and that if he does return to F1 then he’ll be excited about being back and racing and that it would be nice to be world champion again.

MP

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