Kimi Raikkonen has officially left Scuderia Ferrari at the end of the 2018 season but during the course of his career he has created some pretty memorable moments, as he remains one of the most popular and most loved drivers.
His blunt responses, expressionless face and emotionless stares has garnered a cult following and the reason he is named the ‘Iceman’. His carefree-attitude is priceless. During the 2009 Malaysian grand prix, the race was halted due to heavy rains. Most drivers remained in their cars but not Kimi. He removed his race clothes and raided the Ferrari fridge for ice-cream and a bottle of coke. In 2006, his car caught fire during the Monaco GP but instead of returning to the McLaren garage, he chose to walk to his private yacht, with his helmet still on his head.
One of his most classic moments was the radio message during the 2012 Abu Dhabi grand prix; he exclaimed to race engineers: “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing” in response to team advice he was given. The icy one-liner has become a great print for F1 T-shirts.
His road to Formula 1 started in 1998 and he eventually made his professional debut with Sauber in 2001.
Take a look at some of Kimi Raikkonen’s best moments in Formula 1, in no particular order:
1. ‘Sorry, the Iceman is sleeping’
Most athletes are a bit nervous when it comes to their big debut, or in Kimi’s case, his first Formula 1 race in 2001. He has always kept interviews short and generally dislikes the limelight.
To deal with all the publicity, or perhaps he was just being Kimi, the young driver decided to take a nap underneath a table in the Sauber garage. He was woken up 30mins before the race. Sadly we can’t find any footage of it, but napping seemed to be a regular occurrence as he was also not available for autographs during a grid walk during the 2013 Malaysian GP as he was catching some winks.
2. ‘Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing’
The ‘Iceman’ was just sick and tired of being told what to do repeatedly by team engineers when he famously said: “Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, you don’t have to remind me every 10 seconds.”
He eventually went on to claim victory for Lotus Renault in the ensuing race ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
3. ‘I was having a sh-t’
This is probably Kimi’s finest moment; the Iceman is always honest and his response, when asked why he missed the trophy presentation ahead of the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix, was no different. Soccer legend Pelé presented Michael Schumacher with a lifetime achievement award. Broadcaster Martin Brundle noted Kimi’s absence during the ceremony.
When Brundle asked Raikkonen why he missed it and if he would get over missing the occasion, he told the reporter: “Yeah. I was having a sh*t.”
4. Stealing Fisichella’s show in Japan
Despite his antics, Kimi is one of the best Formula 1 drivers. In 2005, Kimi Raikkonen showed once again why his talents are superb. The Finn started the race in 17th position on the grid that day and sliced his way through the pack until he was running mere seconds behind the leader Giancarlo Fisichella.
On the last lap of the race, with an unbelievable outside pass coming into Turn One, Raikkonen passed the Italian to take the checkered flag at Suzuka.
5. The maiden win in 2003
Kimi qualified seventh at the Malaysian GP. He had a great start and with the chaos at turn two, he moved up to fourth place.
He swiftly overtook Nick Heidfeld on lap two for P3 and moved into second place after his team mate retired. Fernando Alonso was leading the race at the time but pitted on Lap 14. Kimi stayed out on track.
After some blistering lap times and setting such incredible pace, his pitstop kept him in P1. The Finn dominated the rest of the race and took his first victory by 39 seconds from Rubens Barrichello at the age of 23 for McLaren.