Kimi Räikkönen

Alfa Romeo Racing

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen is a Formula 1 driver for the Alfa Romeo Racing team. During his career Raikkonen has driven for Ferrari, Sauber, McLaren and Lotus throughout his illustrious career which included success in the 2007 Formula 1 series.

The Finn joins Alfa Romeo for the 2019 season having departed Ferrari following the 2018 season after which he was replaced by Charles Leclerc. He’ll join Antonio Giovinazzi to represent the Italian team.

Team Alfa Romeo Racing
Race number07
NationalityFinnish
Birthday17-08-1979
Age39

Early career

Kimi Raikkonen started karting at the age of ten and had plenty of success in Finland but he didn’t race outside the country for another five years. Raikkonen first competed outside Finland, when he competed in Monaco in which his steering wheel broke. Despite the setback he continued, waving the wheel in the air, attempting to get the attention of his mechanic.

In 1998 Raikkonen won his first Nordic Championship in Norway. A year later he came second in the European Formula Super A championship, racing for Dutch PDB Racing. The same year he won  the UK Formula Renault Championship, winning seven of ten races on his road to victory.

Starting out with Sauber

Following these impressive results, Raikkonen was given the chance to test for Sauber, by Pete Sauber at the Mugellow Circuit. Tests in Jerez and Barcelona followed before the Finn was signed on a permanent basis for the 2001 season.

Initially, there were concerns over the new Sauber driver’s participation in F1, with many critics feeling he was too inexperienced to be given a super licence. However, on his debut in Australia he scored a single point despite reportedly being asleep with just 30 minutes until the race.

He finished his first season with nine points and along with Nick Heidfeld helped the team come fourth in the Constructors’ Championship. Despite a solid showing, the ‘Iceman’ would go on to move to McLaren Mercedes for the 2002 season.

2007 World Champion

Having spent four unsuccessful seasons at McLaren, Raikkonen joined Ferrari who also hadn’t won a title since 2003. Despite Alonso being favourite for the title, having won the last two at Renault, Raikkonen made a statement of intent in Australia, winning from pole. After a strong start Raikkonen retired in Spain before finishing eighth in Monaco to hand the initiative to Lewis Hamilton and Alonso. He quickly got over his drop in form winning in France and then at Silverstone before another retirement at the European Grand Prix.

The season went right  to the end thanks and the Finn podiumed in each of the last seven races, winning three. It was the tightest of finishes. Victory in Abu Dhabi saw the Finn claim his first World Championship after Lewis Hamilton finished seventh. Raikkonen finished on 110 points one ahead of both Hamilton and Alonso. Raikkonen was World Champion at last.

Subsequent years

Following another tight fought year in 2008, which Raikkonen finished third thanks to a podium finish in Brazil. Another unsuccesful season in 2009 followed which led to him leaving Ferrari in 2010. He was replaced by Fernando Alonso and instead Raikkonen made his rally car debut.

He wasn’t out of the sport long and returned with Lotus in 2011 before returning to Ferrari for the 2014 season. Raikkonen was second to Sebastian Vettel the majority of his second spell at Ferrari and in 2018 it was announced he’d be replaced by Charles Leclerc. This paved the way for him to return to Sauber for 2019.

Miscalleneous

Kimi Raikkonen was born in Espoo, Finland in October 1979. He has a net worth of an estimated $180 million and is among the top on the Forbes list of athletes.

 

 

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