Five reasons the Formula 1 world will miss Kimi Raikkonen

For the first time in more than a decade, the Formula 1 grid will not include Kimi Raikkonen next season – and it will be a smaller place without him.

Here’s exactly why the Iceman will be missed by us and the sport as a whole …

His state of mind towards Formula 1

Throughout his tenure as an F1 driver, Kimi was interested in one thing and only one: driving fast cars.

At a time when off-track feuds in the paddock are starting to be discussed as much as what happens on the track, the Finn has never had the slightest desire to get involved in anything outside of the car.

Pilots and team leaders often play mind games to try and gain an advantage over those they are fighting against and while that can provide good entertainment, there is something refreshing about a man. who lets his conduct speak.

No doubt he had a desire to win just as big as anyone else, but he wanted to do it only by being the best driver on the track and having fun in the process.

The Ice Man attitude was perhaps best summed up in Netflix’s Drive to Survive. After a series of dramatic lines from pilots and team leaders on the pressures and challenges of sport, it caught his eye and he said bluntly: “It’s more of a hobby for me …”

His pure hatred of the media and public relations

Unfortunately for him, his job always involved more than just driving a car, and the reluctance and contempt that manifested itself whenever he had to take on media and public relations duties was nothing short of glorious.

Most of the drivers have received enormous media training, which leads to giving the same somewhat generic answers over and over again, but Kimi clearly could never be forced to undergo such training, which resulted in him giving talks. direct and straightforward answers or none at all if he was not a fan of the question.

Things got even funnier lately when he was forced to take part in events like F1’s official Grill the Grid YouTube series, the 42-year-old purposely asking the wrong question in the last episode of this episode. year so he can get out of there.

Make no mistake, we love the many drivers on the grid today who are very active on social media and enthusiastic in front of the cameras, but none will ever be as entertaining as Kimi.

His radio messages from the legendary team

Media and PR duties weren’t the only things that irritated Kimi, with members of his own team often doing it – and when they did, he made it clear.

This led to one of the biggest team radio messages in the history of the sport when, while leading the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2012, he told his race engineer to leave him alone. and got even more frustrated when the poor guy had the audacity to remind him to keep his tires warm behind the Safety Car.

Although this was his most famous team radio message, it was one of many brilliant ones, with another noteworthy message when he candidly yelled at his team to give him his wheel in Baku in 2017.

His posts were so iconic that we felt a real excitement every time we saw one about to air during a race, and that feeling will be sorely missed.

His incredible sense of humor

Most of the time, Kimi was absolutely hilarious without really wanting it, like the radio messages from his team or when he went straight to his yacht after retiring from the Monaco Grand Prix, but the 2007 world champion also had good sense of humor.

A fine example of this came ahead of the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix when, when asked by Martin Brundle on live TV about Michael Schumacher missed Pelé, he responded with a mischievous smile: “I’m having fun.”

One of the few things he did that made us laugh more than that was when he got * slightly * drunk (completely hammered) at the FIA ​​end-of-season gala in 2018 and took absolute pissing off all night.

These were just a few of the many, many times during his Formula 1 career where it was clear that beneath his rather cold and emotionless exterior lay a true prankster.

His killer instinct

All of the above, along with the fact that he may have surpassed his best in recent seasons, has meant that he has been somewhat overlooked in recent times as to how great a contender he is in the field. right way.

This was particularly the case during his time at McLaren and his first with Ferrari. During this time, he faced figures like Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso and Lewis hamilton and was more than a match for all of them in every way.

He had an absolutely fast pace and an immense thirst to win. While it might have seemed like he didn’t care a lot, that wasn’t the case at all as he was ruthless and relentless in his quest to become a world champion, never giving an inch to his rivals on the right track or be buddies with them. this.

You just have to watch its wheel to wheel races. While he was generally fair and clean in this department, he never gave more room than needed to avoid a collision when attacking or defending, making him one of the of the best runners of the moment.

Such a killer instinct might have faded somewhat once he won the title in 2007, but there’s no doubt he was there – and boy, was he a killer.

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