Raikkonen: "I had never seen an F1 race until my first test with Sauber!"

30-10-2018 16:11
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
Raikkonen: I had never seen an F1 race until my first test with Sauber!

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen has revealed that he had never seen a Formula One race until he had his first test with Sauber way back when, as the Finn will return to the Swiss outfit after this season.

The Ice Man was informed at Monza earlier this season that he would be replaced by Charles Leclerc at Ferrari in 2019. The media picked this story up as if Raikkonen was very unhappy with this decision, but the Finn himself said that he was actually quite happy to move to Sauber for family reasons, as Sauber's headquarters are just an hour away from his house in Switzerland.

Talking to the Italian branch of Motorsport.com, Raikkonen reveals that he never really dreamed of F1 when he was growing up.

"I don't remember dreaming of being one day in Formula 1," the 2007 world champion said.

"In karting, when you're very young, you probably have some dreams, but honestly I did not even think I could leave karting to go to racing with cars, since I had no money.

"Then I found some very smart people who supported me, and when I started winning in Formula Renault I thought 'okay, maybe I can earn a living', and I remember being very surprised by an offer to go running in Japan in Formula 3 receiving a salary.

"But then things have taken another direction, very fast, towards Formula 1."

When asked if anything happened to him during his career or if he met an idol of his which he never thought possible as a child, Kimi gave the most Kimi answer possible.

"I do not know, there are probably things that I imagined as impossible, but in my case I had never seen a Grand Prix before my first test with a Formula 1 car!

"I did not generally have high expectations, I went to see 'how is this F1', without thinking too much. Obviously I was hoping to do well, but without stress: let's see what happens."

Kimi made his debut with Sauber in 2001 and stayed at the team for just one year. He went on to win the drivers' championship with Ferrari in 2007, beating both Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by a single point. He'll be back at Sauber for 2019 and 2020.

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