Kimi-Matias Räikkönen (born 17 October 1979 in Espoo, Finland) is a Finnish Formula One driver who drives for Alfa Romeo, having completed his second stint with the Ferrari. Räikkönen has also had a two-year spell with Lotus-Renault following a two-year hiatus from the sport. Before his first spell with Ferrari, Räikkönen had raced for McLaren-Mercedes and Sauber-Petronas since 2001.
Räikkönen won the 2007 World Drivers' Championship with Ferrari, following a season long battle with McLaren-Mercedes drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, both of whom the Finn beat by a single point.
Since the introduction of drivers' personal car numbers in 2014, his preferred car number is #7.
Formula One CareerEdit
On 18th September 2000, Räikkönen was offered his first Formula One test drive at the Mugello Circuit with the Sauber team. Räikkönen had impressed the team after dominating the British Formula Renault championship despite only ever having completed twenty-three motor races in his career; of those twenty-three, he had notably won thirteen of them. He struggled with neck pains on the first day, but by the second day, he had suitably adapted and shaved three seconds off his time. Over the three days, Räikkönen completed 80 laps of the circuit. His intentions at the time was that his performance would earn him a test drive for 2001 with a plan to race in Formula 3. However, Räikkönen's testing performance had impressed Sauber so much, that they wished to sign him as a race driver for 2001. Räikkönen's inexperience in motor racing meant it was difficult for him to convince the FIA to grant him a superlicense to race with. However, after impressing again in a test during November 2000, the FIA opted to grant Räikkönen his superlicense, and Sauber signed Räikkönen for the 2001 season alongside another young driver, Nick Heidfeld. The decision to appoint Räikkönen a superlicense was highly controversial, as many believed he was too inexperienced for Formula One. FIA President Max Mosley was the most notable opponent against Räikkönen's race drive. Subsequently, Räikkönen would race in the first four races under the scrutiny of the FIA, and depending on his performance, would decide whether or not to revoke his superlicense.
For the first race in Australia, Räikkönen qualified in thirteenth, only three places behind teammate Heidfeld. Räikkönen ran a quiet race, yet was promoted several places due to the retirements in the race. Despite finishing the race in seventh, Räikkönen was promoted to sixth after the BAR of Olivier Panis was given a 25-second time penalty for overtaking teammate Heidfeld under waved yellow flags. Räikkönen therefore scored points on his F1 debut, it was also a strong result for Sauber with Heidfeld finishing fourth.
In Malaysia, Räikkönen qualified in fourteenth, once again three places behind Heidfeld. At the start, Räikkönen failed to even make it off the grid due to a driveshaft failure; he therefore was forced to retire on the opening lap of the race.
Räikkönen appeared much stronger in Brazil when he qualified in a strong tenth place, a single position behind teammate Heidfeld. He made a strong start climbing to eighth position, directly behind teammate Heidfeld. However, Räikkönen began to drop back from Heidfeld, who appeared much more competitive. On lap 9, Olivier Panis overtook Räikkönen for eighth place. Räikkönen would remain in ninth until lap 57, when in the wet conditions, he slid off the circuit into the gravel and into retirement. It was a disappointing result for Räikkönen, who had to watch teammate Heidfeld take his first podium in the race.
San Marino was the next venue, and for the first time, Räikkönen outqualified teammate Heidfeld, qualifying in tenth, three places above his teammate. Räikkönen had a strong start climbing to seventh; in the early stages of the race, he duelled with the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher before being forced to relinquish the position. Räikkönen began to close on Panis's BAR for sixth; however, just as he began to get on his tail, Räikkönen suffered a steering wheel failure which saw him veer violently to the right at turn 7 and crash into the wall, ending his race.
For Spain, Räikkönen once again outqualified Heidfeld, starting from ninth, one place ahead of his teammate. At the start, Heidfeld got the better of him and got past, as did Olivier Panis. Räikkönen later duelled the Jaguar of Eddie Irvine before Irvine retired from the race. Räikkönen went on to finish the race in eighth, two places behind teammate Heidfeld.
In Austria, Räikkönen qualified in ninth position three places behind Heidfeld. He made a strong start climbing up to sixth, one of the cars he past being his teammate. Räikkönen continued to run a strong race and due to retirements of the cars ahead of him he found himself running in a brilliant third position. However, Michael Schumacher in the superior Ferrari machinery overtook the Finn on the 28th lap. Räikkönen then ran a quiet race to the finish taking a strong fourth position in the race. Despite a stewards investigation post-race in which BAR claimed Räikkönen had overtaken a backmarker under yellow flags, no action was taken and Räikkönen kept his fourth place.
For the Monaco Grand Prix, Sauber seemed uncompetitive with Räikkönen only managing fifteenth, one place ahead of Heidfeld. The race did not go to plan either, Räikkönen pulled into the pits in what seemed to be a retirement due to a technical issue. However four laps later Räikkönen got back into the car and continued the race albeit well out of contention, the team using the race as an effective test session there on after.
Fortunes improved for Canada, Räikkönen managed to qualify a competitive seventh on the grid. In the race Räikkönen held his position, retirements in the race meant he ran to as high as fourth. However, Mika Häkkinen in the superior McLaren machinery managed to overtake Räikkönen for the position. Later in the race Räikkönen began to close in on the Jordan of Jarno Trulli, Räikkönen found himself stuck behind the slower Jordan driver unable to pass and soon came under pressure from the Prost of Jean Alesi. Finally on lap 64, five laps before the end Räikkönen was able to overtake Trulli and took fourth position in the race.
It was another promising qualifying for the European race at Nürburgring with Räikkönen starting from ninth position. Räikkönen had an uninteresting race, seemingly not having the pace to challenge for points and finished the race in tenth position. In France, Räikkönen qualified in thirteenth place, four places behind Heidfeld. Räikkönen got a tremendous start, climbing five places going into the first corner. On lap 7, Räikkönen overtook the Jordan of Heinz-Harald Frentzen for seventh. Frentzen remained on the Finn's tail and took the place back on lap 11. Räikkönen eventually took seventh back during the pit-stops but remained in the position until the conclusion of the race.
In Britain, Räikkönen put in another strong qualifying performance to start from seventh. At the start he overtook both the Jordan cars of Frentzen and Trulli but lost a place to the Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya. Räikkönen would remain in sixth for most of the race until Ralf Schumacher's retirement which promoted him to fifth, a position he would remain until the finish.
Germany was the next venue and Räikkönen qualified in eighth, one place behind Heidfeld. With Heidfeld retiring on the opening lap, Räikkönen was promoted to seventh. He would come under extreme pressure from Eddie Irvine's Jaguar, yet Räikkönen held his ground. On lap 16, Räikkönen was forced out of the race due to a halfshaft failure.
At the Hungarian GP, Räikkönen qualified in ninth two places behind Heidfeld. Räikkönen climbed to seventh in the race yet remained stuck behind teammate Heidfeld and was unable to pass going on to finish the race in seventh, just outside the points.
In Belgium, Räikkönen lined up an uncompetitive twelfth, his race ended on the first lap due to a transmission failure. The next race in Italy saw Räikkönen qualify ninth, just behind Heidfeld. In the first few laps Räikkönen climbed to sixth position. He would remain in sixth for much of the race yet he lost out during a pit-stop phaze and lost sixth to the BAR of Jacques Villeneuve. Räikkönen went on to finish seventh in the race.
At the United States GP, Räikkönen had a disappointing qualifying only managing eleventh on the grid. Despite this he made a strong start climbing several places up the field. On the second lap him and teammate Heidfeld who was directly behind closed in on Jarno Trulli's Jordan for eighth position. Räikkönen whilst attempting to overtake made contact with the back of the Jordan, his front wing saw severe damage and he was forced to pit. The damage to the front of his car was so severe he was forced to retire.
In the final round of the season at Japan, Räikkönen qualified in twelfth position. On the fifth lap, Räikkönen suffered a rear suspension failure at the Dunlop curve. Jordan driver Jean Alesi could not avoid him and slammed Räikkönen into the wall, causing a tremendous accident which saw Räikkönen lose all four wheels on his car.
It had been an overall strong first season for Räikkönen, who finished tenth in the championship with eight points, only three points less than his more experienced teammate.
Despite being signed to Sauber until 2003, Räikkönen's strong performances had gained the attention of many top level teams. Räikkönen had been rumoured to move to Ferrari for 2002, however whilst interested in the young Finn Ferrari felt he was still not mature enough to gain a seat with the team. Instead when fellow Finnish driver Mika Häkkinen announced a sabbatical from F1 for 2002, McLaren opted to sign Räikkönen as a replacement for the 2002 season, being announced in September 2001 just after the Italian Grand Prix. Räikkönen would be partnered in the team by Scottish driver David Coulthard who had been racing in McLaren for the past six seasons.
In Australia, Räikkönen qualified a competitive fifth position, directly behind teammate Coulthard. Going into the first corner there was a major pile-up which saw eight cars eliminated at the start of the race, whilst Räikkönen was one of the survivors of the incident, his front wing was damaged requiring him to pit for a new nosecone dropping him to last during the safety car period. Räikkönen began a strong comeback drive climbing through the field where he finally caught up to teammate Coulthard in third and overtook him on lap 15. Räikkönen still had a signifcant gap to the leaders Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher, yet Räikkönen had slowly began to catch them. When the two leaders pitted, Räikkönen for the very first time led a grand prix. After he had made his own pit stop, he had managed to jump Montoya for second place; however, on lap 39, he made a mistake going into turn 1, and went off the circuit, allowing Montoya back into second. From there on, after Räikkönen was unable to challenge either Montoya or Schumacher, he still managed to bring the car home in third, taking his first podium in his very first race with McLaren.
In Malaysia, Räikkönen once again qualified in fifth position, this time ahead of Coulthard. Räikkönen benefitted at the start after a collision between Schumacher and Montoya, allowing him to climb to third behind Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher. Whilst running in a competitive third position, it would be a disappointing result for the young Finn when he was forced to retire on lap 24 with an engine failure.
Räikkönen qualified in fifth for the third time in a row in Brazil, once again little separated the two McLaren's and Coulthard just edged Räikkönen out for fourth on the grid. Räikkönen made a poor start and dropped to seventh position. Whilst he was promoted to sixth following Barrichello's retirement, Räikkönen struggled to advance when he got stuck behind the slower Renault car of Jenson Button. It took until lap 39 when Räikkönen was finally able to overtake Button for fifth. Räikkönen was able to quickly catch the second Renault of Jarno Trulli and overtook him for fourth position. In the dying laps Räikkönen began to put teammate Coulthard under pressure for third position, however disaster struck with only three laps to go. Whilst chasing down Coulthard Räikkönen made a critical error going into turn 4 and spun off the circuit. This meant Räikkönen dropped down to twelfth position, where he would remain for the final three laps.
It was another fifth place qualifying position for Räikkönen in the fourth round of the championship in San Marino, Räikkönen bettering teammate Coulthard by one position. Räikkönen ran in a solid fifth position throughout the race until lap 44, when he suffered another retirement due to an exhaust pipe failure.
In Spain, Räikkönen took another fifth position in qualifying and once again outpaced teammate Coulthard. At the start, Räikkönen made it up to fourth position, but his race ended after only four laps when his rear wing failed and flew off his car going down the main pit-straight.
Austria was the next venue on the calendar, Räikkönen taking sixth position in qualifying yet once again outqualified his teammate. However at the start Coulthard got the better of Räikkönen to take sixth position from him. Whilst Räikkönen pressured Coulthard to take the place back he suffered a huge engine failure on the fifth lap which saw flames coming out of the rear of the car. Räikkönen once again being hampered by McLaren's poor reliability.
Monaco saw Räikkönen take another sixth place in qualifying, yet was some margin off teammate Coulthard who took second on the grid. Räikkönen was unable to advance his position in the race. For most of the Grand Prix, Räikkönen duelled with the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello; despite the Ferrari driver being faster, he was unable to find a way past the young Finn. After being stuck behind Räikkönen for most of the race, frustration got the better of Barrichello and he made a mistake coming out of the tunnel and slammed into the rear of Räikkönen's car. Both drivers were forced into the pits whilst Barrichello continued Räikkönen was forced to yet again retire from the race and look on as teammate Coulthard took McLaren's first win of the season.
After the disappointment in Monaco, Räikkönen qualified a competitive fifth for Canada, three places ahead of Coulthard. He made a strong start passing the Williams of Ralf Schumacher for fourth. After the first round of pit-stops, Räikkönen was able to get ahead of the other Williams of Montoya for third. He remained in this position for much of the race, but following the last round of pit stops, Räikkönen lost his third place to teammate Coulthard, who was putting in some very fast lap times. Räikkönen would finish the race in fourth, one place behind teammate Coulthard, getting his first points since Australia.
In Europe, Räikkönen qualified in sixth, one place behind teammate Coulthard. Räikkönen would spend much of the first stint in sixth position. On lap 17, he dropped to seventh when he made a mistake on track allowing the Renault of Jenson Button through. Within a few laps, Räikkönen had managed to retake sixth from Button. He was then promoted to fourth following a collison between Coulthard and Montoya which sent them both out of the race. Räikkönen had begun to lap very competitively, managing to overtake Ralf Schumacher for third during the pit-stop phase. Whilst running a competitive third Räikkönen's McLaren did not have the pace to challenge the two Ferrari's of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello at the front. He went on to take third, his second podium in Formula One.
It was another fifth place qualifying position for Räikkönen in Britain, notably remaining ahead of Coulthard on his home turf. At the start Räikkönen climbed to fourth following a first corner mistake by Barrichello. Räikkönen notably was very competitive in Britain being able to quickly dispose of Ralf Schumacher's Williams at the start before then being able to close in on the leaders of Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Schumacher. On lap 13 Räikkönen closed in upon Michael Schumacher's Ferrari and overtook for second position. Räikkönen's race was ruined however in his first pit stop when the mechanics struggled to attach a wheel to his car. His pitstop misadventure meant that he had dropped down to seventh on the track. In the wet conditions Räikkönen overtook Button rapidly for sixth following the pit-stop he then quickly disposed of Ralf Schumacher for fifth beginning a strong recovery drive. Then shortly afterwards he managed to overtake Jarno Trulli's Renault for fourth. A strategy error meant he dropped to tenth position following the next round of pit-stops. To put his misery to an end Räikkönen retired on lap 44 with another engine failure.
In France Räikkönen put in a strong qualifying performace to start from fourth on the grid. Due to Barrichello's startline retirement Räikkönen was promoted to third at the start. Throughout the race Räikkönen duelled with the two cars ahead of him, that of Schumacher's Ferrari and Montoya's Williams. During the pit-stop phase both Räikkönen and Schumacher were able to overtake Montoya. When it was found out that Schumacher had crossed the white line after one of his pit-stops, he was handed a drive through penalty allowing Räikkönen to take the lead. Räikkönen held a steady lead for the final stint of the race, seemingly on course for his first win. Schumacher's Ferrari after recovering from his penalty had begun to bare down on Räikkönen at a significant rate and with only four laps to go Schumacher overtook Räikkönen for the lead and won the race as well as taking his fifth championship. Räikkönen went home to finish in second position, one second adrift of Schumacher.
In Germany, Räikkönen qualified in fifth position. On the first lap he was able to overtake the Williams of Montoya for fourth position. The two would then engage in an intense duel for the position over the following laps. Räikkönen and Montoya nearly coming to blows on lap 11 as their duel intensified. Despite managing to hold Montoya back for a significant period of time, Räikkönen eventually lost fourth to Montoya. After being forced to let Montoya through Räikkönen came under pressure for fifth by his teammate Coulthard, however on lap 39 he suffered a tyre blowout which sent him flying onwards at the hairpin. He was luckily able to recover yet had to nurse his car back to the pits after his puncture. Räikkönen dropped to last following the puncture, he then began to suffer brake problems in the race as a result of the puncture and on lap 59 he suffered a brake failure sending him flying into the gravel trap.
In Hungary, McLaren appeared rather uncompetitive Räikkönen only managing eleventh on the grid, one place behind teammate Coulthard. Räikkönen made a strong start climbing up to eighth going into the first corner. For the second race in succession Räikkönen and Montoya battled, this time Räikkönen chasing down Montoya for seventh. On lap 22 Räikkönen dived down the inside of Montoya going into the first corner forcing his way through and into the position. During the pit-stop phase Räikkönen moved into sixth position and began to hound the Sauber of Felipe Massa for fifth. The two McLaren's however utilised a strong two stop strategy to allow them to jump their nearest rivals so that Räikkönen and Coulthard would run fourth and fifth to the end of the race, a strong recovery from the pair after a dismal qualifying.
In Belgium, Räikkönen put in a phenomenal qualifying performance challenging for pole position, however he was forced to settle for second behind the superior Ferrari chassis of Michael Schumacher. It would be a poor start for Räikkönen his McLaren not having the same pace as his Ferrari and Williams rivals with Rubens Barrichello and Juan Pablo Montoya overtaking in the opening laps. Räikkönen and Coulthard ran in fourth and fifth position, unable to compete with the top three runners. On lap 35 Räikkönen retired from the race with yet another engine failure.
Räikkönen qualified in sixth position for the Italian Grand Prix. At the start Räikkönen overtook Eddie Irvine's Jaguar for fifth position. He would remain in fifth until lap 29 when yet again his Mercedes engine suffered a failure forcing him out of the race.
The United States was the next venue and Räikkönen took another sixth position on the grid. Räikkönen climbed to fifth at the start of the race. He appeared somewhat uncompetitive and Jacques Villeneuve in the BAR overtook him for fifth on lap 14. Three laps later Montoya easily took sixth from the young Finn. However it was another engine failure on lap 50 which would be his downfall sending him out of the race.
The final race in Japan saw Räikkönen have a strong qualifying, starting from fourth right behind teammate Coulthard. At the start Räikkönen dropped to fifth losing a position to Ralf Schumacher. Räikkönen however found himself back in fourth following Coulthard's retirement. Despite an off on lap 32, Räikkönen ran consistently in fourth to put a positive to his difficult season Ralf Schumacher retired towards the end of the race promoting Räikkönen to third behind the two Ferrari cars allowing him to finish the season with a podium.
Räikkönen finished the championship in sixth seventeen points behind teammate Coulthard. Räikkönen had often proven to be quicker and more consistent however his persistant reliability problems which saw him finish only six times in the season hampered his championship ambitions.
For 2003, both Räikkönen and Coulthard were retained at McLaren for the new season. McLaren appeared to be more competitive than in 2002, however during qualifying for the first round of Australia, both Räikkönen and Coulthard messed up their flying laps on the new one flying lap qualifying format. Räikkönen who went off the circuit would start from fifteenth with Coulthard in eleventh. Räikkönen, however elected to start from the pit-lane. He made a storming drive through the field and was soon battling for the lead with Michael Schumacher's Ferrari and Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams. Räikkönen inherited the lead on lap 16, however was being challenged directly by Schumacher behind him. Schumacher however would botch his overtake manoeuvere going into the first corner, being forced to return to the pits for repairs. Räikkönen looked to have the race in hand but was then handed a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit-lane after his first stop. This forced him to drop to third, a position he would remain until the end of the race as teammate Coulthard took the race win ahead of Montoya in second.
For the second race of the season in Malaysia, Räikkönen qualified in seventh, three places behind Coulthard. It would be a strong start for Räikkönen managing to overtake Barrichello's Ferrari into the first corner and then a tangle between the other Ferrari of Schumacher and Renault's Jarno Trulli promoted Räikkönen a further two places to fourth. Coulthard who was running second retired on the second lap leaving Räikkönen the sole running McLaren in third. Räikkönen then engaged in a duel with former teammate Nick Heidfeld in the Sauber for second, Räikkönen finally managing to overtake Heidfeld on the third lap moving up into second position. Räikkönen ran in second behind the Renault of Fernando Alonso. Alonso who was running a lighter fuel load was forced to pit on lap 14, Räikkönen inheriting the lead of the race. Räikkönen began setting a series of fastest laps and when he came into the pits on lap 19, he exited ahead of Alonso's Renault keeping the lead of the race. Räikkönen went on to dominate the race, taking his first F1 victory, 39 seconds ahead of Rubens Barrichello in second position. With this, Räikkönen took over the lead of the championship with 16 points, six ahead of teammate Coulthard in second.
The next race in Brazil saw Räikkönen qualify in fourth position, however once again he was two places behind teammate Coulthard. The race was held in extremely wet conditions, Räikkönen managed to overtake Mark Webber's Jaguar for third at the start, holding station behind Barrichello and Coulthard who took the race lead. The race saw a number of accidents due to the driving difficulties of the wet conditions. Barrichello repassed Coulthard for the lead yet was forced to retire on lap 47. This meant it was a McLaren one-two with Coulthard leading Räikkönen. On lap 51 Coulthard came into the pits meaning Räikkönen took the lead of the race. However the Jordan of Giancarlo Fisichella was baring down on Räikkönen for the lead at a significant pace. On lap 53 there was a huge accident between Alonso's Renault and Webber's Jaguar bringing out the red flags. At the start of the 54th lap Fisichella overtook Räikkönen for the lead, however as this was a lap after the red flags there was some confusion who won the race. Initially it was Räikkönen who was classified the winner, however by the next race in Imola, a stewards review determined it was Fisichella who should be deemed the race win, Räikkönen being demoted to second. Nonetheless Räikkönen still had a eleven point lead in the championship.
At the San Marino Grand Prix, Räikkönen could only manage a sixth position placing on the grid. Räikkönen overtook Webber's Jaguar at the start climbing to fifth position. Räikkönen took the lead ahead of teammate Coulthard on lap 17, however by lap 21 he had to make his pit-stop dropping back to fourth behind Michael Schumacher, Ralf Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello. Making use of a strong two stop strategy, Räikkönen was able to leapfrog both Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher. On lap 56, Michael Schumacher had a nineteen second lead over Räikkönen, by lap 58 this had been reduced to eleven. Räikkönen was catching Schumacher at a rapid pace, by the final 62nd lap Räikkönen had closed the gap to 1.1 seconds yet it was not enough to challenge for the lead. Despite taking second, Räikkönen was able to further increase his lead in the championship.
In qualifying for the Spanish race, Räikkönen notably went off the circuit on his one flying lap, returning his damaged car to the pits it meant he was forced to start from twentieth at the back of the grid. The race faired little better, at the start the Jaguar of Antônio Pizzonia failed to leave the grid, Räikkönen was unable to avoid the stricken Jaguar and smashed into the back of Pizzônia. Both drivers were forced out of the race on the spot. Michael Schumacher won the race in his Ferrari, reducing Räikkönen's championship lead to four points.
The next venue in Austria saw Räikkönen qualifying in second, right behind championship rival Michael Schumacher. The start saw Räikkönen drop to third behind Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams, however he was able to keep in striking distance between Montoya and Schumacher ahead of him. On lap 23, both Schumacher and Räikkönen came into the pits, due to a pitstop fire Schumacher's pit-stop was delayed allowing Räikkönen to move ahead into second place behind Montoya. Montoya retired on lap 32 with an engine failure, but Räikkönen did not inherit the lead as on the same lap Schumacher had managed to overtake him going into turn 3. Räikkönen was from thereafter unable to challenge Schumacher who began pulling away, he went on to finish the race in second position. Schumacher had now closed Räikkönen's championship lead to within two points.
In Monaco, Räikkönen once again qualified in second position, this time losing pole to the Williams of Ralf Schumacher. At the start Montoya managed to overtake Räikkönen going into the first corner leaving it a Williams one-two. Räikkönen remained on their tale and hounded both Schumacher and Montoya. When the two Williams cars came into the pits Räikkönen took the lead however on lap 25 he too came into the pits. Räikkönen exited the pits ahead of Ralf Schumacher but remained behind Montoya. In the pit-stop phase Michael Schumacher had emerged ahead of his brother and was now behind Räikkönen. Both Räikkönen and Schumacher proved quicker than Montoya, but the tight twisty nature of Monaco meant they were unable to pass, being forced to concede the win to Montoya. Nevertheless Räikkönen had now managed to increase his championship lead to four points over Schumacher.
It was another costly qualifying for Räikkönen in Canada, crashing out on his flying lap meaning once again he would be forced to start from the back of the grid. Räikkönen would stage a great comeback from the back of the grid slowly carving his way through the field throughout the race. Räikkönen by race end had climbed to sixth and was hounding the back of Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari yet found he was unable to find a way past the Ferrari driver. Räikkönen being forced to settle for sixth. As Schumacher won the race, it meant he took over the championship lead by three points over Räikkönen.
For the European race, Räikkönen finally managed to claim his first Formula One pole position, beating Schumacher's Ferrari to the top spot in the qualifying session. Räikkönen held his lead into the first corner, beginning to build up a solid gap to Ralf Schumacher in second, his lead being over nine seconds before his first pit-stop on lap 16. Räikkönen looked set to take his second victory until a rare engine failure on lap 25 forced him out of the race. A devastating blow to his championship aspirations allowing Michael Schumacher to increase his championship lead.
Despite having a contract to race for Ferrari in 2010, Räikkönen announced that he would be leaving the team at the near end of the season.
Expecting to return to McLaren to partner alongside with Lewis Hamilton, but the negotiations failed. He was also linked to the Mercedes team, but they picked up on Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg instead.
Toyota, before they pulled out of Formula One in the end of 2009, also offered Räikkönen to race for the team to replace Timo Glock. According to BBC, Räikkönen rejected the contract because he wanted to drive on a race-winning car.
2012-2013: Return to Formula One with LotusEdit
At the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, during the safety car period, after Räikkönen was told by his race engineer that he will keep Räikkönen updated on the gap, he responded with the message: "Just leave me alone, I know what I'm doing", stating that he has everything under control. The message became popular on the Internet, and Räikkönen gave the entire Lotus team T-shirts of the radio message.
At the Indian Grand Prix, while having a battle with his team-mate Romain Grosjean, he pushed Grosjean off the track but his team-mate gave the position back to him. His race engineer, Alan Permane, shouted at him to get out of his team-mate's way via a team radio and he ended up with responding with an equal force.
Räikkönen wound up sitting out the final two races of the season, due to back surgery.
2014–present: Return to FerrariEdit
On 11 September 2013, it was confirmed that Räikkönen would return to the Scuderia Ferrari team, replacing the departed Felipe Massa.
The first half of the season was disappointing for Räikkönen, as he could not finish ahead of his teammate, Fernando Alonso, until the Belgian Grand Prix where he finished fourth. He finished ahead of his teammate again at Italy and Japan, despite Alonso retired due to mechanical failures.
At the ninth round at Silverstone, Räikkönen lost control of his Ferrari after a bump as he tried to rejoin the track, and crashed into the tyre barrier at an impact of 47G, forcing him to miss the Silverstone test. He came back to the German Grand Prix after he was fit to continue in the next round.
The start to the season at Australia was bad for the Finn, retiring on lap 40 after a loose wheel from a botched pitstop. After a season without a single podium since 2001, he finished on the podium at the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2nd place for the first time since the 2013 Korean Grand Prix.
In the Hungarian Grand Prix, both him and his team-mate Vettel were leading one-two until the safety car was deployed. After the safety car, Räikkönen experienced an issue with the engine power and had to retire, ending Ferrari's chances of taking a possible one-two finish.
Räikkönen suffered another bad start to the season. Despite the Ferraris leading one-two at the Australian Grand Prix, Räikkönen had to retire from a turbo failure on lap 21.
Formula One Statistical OverviewEdit
Formula One RecordEdit
|Year||Entrant||Team||WDC Points||WDC Pos.||Report|
|2002||West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||24||6th||Report|
|2003||West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||91||2nd||Report|
|2004||West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||45||7th||Report|
|2005||West McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||112||2nd||Report|
|2006||Team McLaren Mercedes||McLaren-Mercedes||65||5th||Report|
|2007||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||110||1st||Report|
|2008||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||75||3rd||Report|
|2009||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||48||6th||Report|
|2010–2011: Did Not Compete|
|2012||Lotus F1 Team||Lotus-Renault||207||3rd||Report|
|2013||Lotus F1 Team||Lotus-Renault||183||5th||Report|
|2019||Alfa Romeo Racing||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||4||8th||Report|
Correct as of the 2019 Australian Grand Prix qualifying
|Front Row Starts||43|
|Distance Raced||76078 km (47273 mi)|
|Distance Led||6614 km (4110 mi)|
|Complete Formula One results|
|2010–2011: Did not compete|
|3rd||DNQ||Did not qualify|
|5th||Points finish||DNPQ||Did not pre-qualify|
|14th||Non-points finish||TD||Test driver|
|NC||Non-classified finish (<90% race distance)||DNS||Did not start|
|Italics||Scored point(s) for Fastest Lap|
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- ↑ http://www.formula1.com/en/latest/features/2015/11/leave-me-alone-I-know-what-doing-best-of-raikkonen-race-radio.html
- ↑ http://www.bbc.com/sport/formula1/20267305
- ↑ Race stopped after 31/56 Laps. Half points awarded
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