28 DEC. The 2019 F1 season will kick off with good news for fans of everybody’s favourite monosyllabic Finn, as Kimi Raikkonen goes back to Sauber, where it all started for him back in 2001, in a seat swap with Charles Leclerc who now gets the Ferrari gig.
So, to mark this momentous occasion (which we are sure he will be very excited about) here are, descending in order of greatness, six (of the many) classic Kimi moments over the years, with we hope, many more still to come…
6: KIMI FALLS OVER A FENCE AFTER THE 2012 GERMAN GRAND PRIX
After finishing third for Lotus at the Hockenheimring, Kimi was keen to get home and so could not be bothered with the hassle of using gates.
An attempt to vault over a fence into the car park ended badly as he tripped and bounced off the bonnet of a parked car.
Quite what his watching team members made of seeing their star driver coming close to breaking an arm can only be imagined.
5: KIMI DOESN’T GET ANNOYED AT THE 2008 CANADIAN GRAND PRIX
Imagine the scene. You are fighting for the F1 title, with a very real chance of winning it, when at the Canadian Grand Prix, one of your closest rivals, fails to see the huge red light at the end of the pitlane and promptly stoves into the back of you, taking you out of the race.
Does Kimi get cross? Not a bit of it.
Mr Unflappable wanders over to the culprit, one Lewis Hamilton and calmly points the light out to him before ambling back to his garage.
4: KIMI KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING AT THE 2012 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
Seeing the possibility of a win coming right at the end of an otherwise victory free season, the Lotus team were understandably getting a bit nervous and started to radio Kimi with information about tyres and so on.
Told over the radio that Fernando Alonso was four seconds behind and he would be kept advised of his pace, an irritated Raikkonen snapped: ‘LEAVE ME ALONE, I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!’ and thus was launched a range of t-shirts, caps and mugs, bearing this statement.
Indeed, he DID know what he was doing, and duly won the race, capping off the day by then swearing during the podium interviews. Epic stuff.
3: KIMI CHILLS OUT ON HIS YACHT DURING THE 2006 MONACO GRAND PRIX
Halfway through the race, a mechanical failure forced Kimi to park up his McLaren at the exit of the Portier turn.
Fortunately for him, this was close to his private yacht. He had a choice. Walk all the way back to the garage for a chat with Ron Dennis, or get into his shorts and sit and watch the race on his boat with a cold beer and some bikini clad beauties. Well, what would YOU do?
Every now and then, the TV camera would switch to Kimi, drink in hand, as the cars went past, with James Allen pointing out that his Finnish mates onboard had ‘consumed their own body weight in champagne and beer over the weekend’.
You just have to love the Finns.
2: KIMI HAS AN ICE CREAM DURING THE 2009 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX
Probably one of the most famous moments of his career and one which on several levels, sums up the Iceman perfectly.
Torrential rain saw the race halted on lap 33, with the drivers sat in their cars on the grid, getting a good drenching, waiting for the restart which would never come.
None of this malarkey suited Kimi, who got dried and changed before enjoying an ice cream on live TV, while the race was technically still on.
A (Magnum) classic.
1: KIMI GETS LOST AT THE 2012 BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX
Our top Kimi moment is a brilliant navigational faux pas. Raikkonen is not a fan of track walks and it would appear he didn’t bother with one before this race.
On lap 54, our hero runs wide and onto the grass and instead of doing what any other driver would do, ie: driving across the grass and onto the track, Kimi decides to use an old escape road he used in a similar incident during the 2001 race.
Sadly, at some stage during the following eleven years, somebody had put a gate across it…