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Sir Jackie: Let Kimi be

Sunday 13-January-2013 11:07

Sir Jackie Stewart has urged the Lotus F1 team not to attempt changing Kimi Raikkonen, saying he is "very special."

Raikkonen has gained a reputation for being who he is and refusing to cowtow to the media or public relations.

The Finn's personality was perhaps highlighted during last year's Abu Dhabi GP when he told his pit wall "leave me alone I know what I'm doing!"

And he did, he won the race.

"You don't change Kimi Raikkonen, you don't change him," Stewart said while on stage at the Autosport International.

"I speak to him very seldom on a weekend, because if he wants to speak to me, he will come and speak to me.

"If I and go tart him up, he thinks 'what are you talking about? Why bother me?' That is how the reaction would be.

"He is a very special person, the most special of any grand prix driver past and present, but his return was better than [Michael] Schumacher's return.

"He was up there every single race he was in last year, and he delivered."

As for Raikkonen's dislike for the PR circus, triple World Champion Stewart reckons it clearly is not hurting the 33-year-old.

"With the knowledge and experience he has, and the mind management he has, he doesn't care about PR, journalists or interviews. He doesn't want to do them.

"If you ask him a silly question, you get a straightforward answer.

"I like Kimi a lot. I can't count him as a friend, and the friends he brings along are pretty unusual. But Kimi is doing fine the way he is."

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