12 classic Kimi Raikkonen stories, and a few that you may not know
Kimi Raikkonen will always be remembered in F1 for his racing prowess, and he is equally regarded as one of the series’ best characters.
Raikkonen firmly put himself on the map in Formula 1 with his spell at McLaren, unfortunate to miss out on World Championship glory in 2003 and 2005, before finally achieving that goal in 2007 when he joined Ferrari.
‘The Iceman’ was not just a very fast Formula 1 driver though, he was arguably the last of a dying breed, a driver who did not care for the politics, PR or media attention, which made him an iconic character who the fans connected with.
When he retired from Formula 1 at the end of 2021, Raikkonen had called time on something which he had considered just a ‘hobby’ for several years already, heading home to spend more time with his family, the days of wild parties now behind him.
Raikkonen left Formula 1 with a who’s who of hilarious classic moments and tales to remember his career by, so let’s indulge in the best of them…
How did he get into Jenson Button’s living room?
Recounting a past Kimi tale, 2009 World Champion Button explained that while Kimi did not have much to say to him in the paddock, “when the sun went down, things changed”.
“The only story I can really remember with Kimi, because most of them are a blur, we were out until like 3am in London and I had a house at that point,” Button told Sky Sports F1 in 2021.
“And I was like ‘I’m tired, I’m out of here’. Got in the cab, get home, walk in my house, and Kimi is sat in my living room, alone, I have no idea how he got there.”
Drunk at the FIA gala
We all know that Kimi loves to have a good time away from the race track, and that was no different back in 2018 as he attended the FIA’s post-season Prize Giving Gala.
In what was one of his final acts representing Ferrari, Raikkonen certainly looked the part in his black suit and bowtie, but it was clear as he made his way out onto the stage alongside Sebastian Vettel that he had downed a few drinks behind the curtains.
Still to this day we haven’t seen Kimi hosting one of these galas, which quite honestly is a travesty. It could become a highlight of the year!
‘I was having a sh*t’ grid walk comment
Back at the 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix, icons of two different sports met. Ahead of what was Michael Schumacher’s final Formula 1 race at that stage, he was presented with a lifetime achievement award by Brazilian footballing legend Pele.
Almost all the drivers were present for the ceremony, we say almost because one was missing, Kimi of course.
As part of Martin Brundle’s gridwalk, he would point out to ‘The Iceman’ that he had missed Pele’s presentation, Kimi bluntly saying his absence was due to the fact that he was ‘having a sh*t’. The perils of Kimi and live TV there folks!
Leave him alone, he knows what to do
#OTD in 2012 Kimi Raikkonen uttered those famous words – "Just leave me alone, I know what to do" – as he raced to the victory at the Abu Dhabi GP with Lotus pic.twitter.com/DI09t5BbkZ
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) November 4, 2020
It is amazing how a simple line from Kimi can turn into a merchandise opportunity and something which stuck with him for the rest of his career, but this is exactly what happened after his outburst in 2012.
Leading the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the Lotus, Kimi’s race engineer was informing him of Fernando Alonso behind and that he would keep him updated on the Ferrari driver’s pace. Kimi didn’t like the sound of that.
“Just leave me alone, I know what to do,” he said in a stern reply over the radio. Turned into a printed T-shirt on the F1 store, Kimi’s final team, Alfa Romeo, but their own twist on the line at the 2021 Abu Dhabi GP, Kimi’s last race.
Written on Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo C41 was “Dear Kimi, we will leave you alone now”.
Where are his gloves and steering wheel?
Dear Santa, for Christmas I would like:
Love from Kimi pic.twitter.com/njuIKgRbNA
— Formula 1 (@F1) December 23, 2017
As Ferrari were pushing Kimi in his Ferrari out onto the grid in Baku in 2017, there were a few very important pieces of equipment missing.
The minor one was that he didn’t have his gloves to cover his hands when holding the steering wheel. The other things that was missing…the steering wheel!
While not funny for Kimi at the time, it certainly was for the viewer as he yelled over the radio for someone to bring him his gloves and steering wheel, which fortunately for Kimi, soon arrived.
You can see a lot of unique things at the Monaco Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen heading back to his yacht instead of the paddock, after retiring from the race, is right up there 😂#MonacoGP 🇲🇨 #F1 pic.twitter.com/74IS3XAMi3
— Formula 1 (@F1) May 21, 2020
Reliability problems were often a frustration for Raikkonen at McLaren, one of those arriving at the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix, a fiery heat shield and subsequent engine damage forcing him to come to a stop at Portier.
Back to the media area and McLaren garage for a debrief then? Well actually Kimi had different plans.
He would instead go for a wander over to his private yacht which was waiting in the harbour, Kimi enjoying the rest of the Monaco Grand Prix from very comfortable surroundings as he chilled out with his pals.
Malaysia ice cream
10 years ago today, Kimi Raikkonen ate an ice cream. #F1 pic.twitter.com/nhYDAXAr6H
— Lights Out ●●●●● (@LightsOutF1Blog) April 5, 2019
Speaking of chilled, it was a hot Sunday in Malaysia for the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix, though a torrential downpour would bring out the red flags as the race was suspended.
Kimi then headed over to check out what the Ferrari refrigerator had to offer. Of course, the athletes that these Formula 1 drivers are, Kimi was going to go for the healthy option, right? Wrong.
Instead, Kimi was seen tucking into a chocolate-coated ice cream and can of Coke. The perfect way to cool down if you ask us!
Kimi and the drinks saga
Kimi got the drink on that day with his can of coke, but sadly he has not always been able to have the drink. Let us explain.
It was back at the 2018 Hungarian GP where one of the most popular viral Formula 1 clips in recent seasons arrived, as Kimi and his Ferrari race engineer got lost in translation regarding his disconnected drinks pipe. “No, no, Kimi, no, you will not have the drink,” has since been added to the list of iconic Kimi-related lines.
Kimi would make his disgruntlement quite clear back in the Ferrari garage!
The dodgy drinks bottled returned to haunt Raikkonen again at the 2021 Monaco GP, this time driving for Alfa Romeo, and once more during practice at the Turkish GP later that season.
Now that Formula 1 is behind him, we hope that Kimi can finally have the drink!
Kimi gets revenge after his hands are dyed blue
Former McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley, who built up a friendship with Kimi during their time at the team, spoke of how a McLaren tradition left Kimi with blue hands, and himself with a dodgy haircut.
For anyone who was about to leave McLaren, on the final day they would be covered with all sorts of “crap” in the view of the pit lane, while the team also had an intense blue dye in their armoury, so Kimi was not going to be an exception as he prepared to move to Ferrari.
Kimi was determined to avoid his fate, but when he went to the bathroom at the 2006 Brazilian GP, he didn’t miss only the Pele-Schumacher ceremony, but also Priestley filling his gloves with this blue powder, so after a demanding, sweaty race at Interlagos, Kimi found himself with blue hands!
Kimi got his revenge though when Priestley was one of the guests at his Lapland home for the yearly Finland “piss-up”.
While Priestley was in bed, Kimi and his mate smashed the door off its hinges, held Priestley down and “he gets a set of clippers and buzzes like a reverse mohican down the middle of my long shoulder-length hair!
“And then, worse than that, he cuts the plug off the end of the clippers and throws it out a window into like a five-foot snowdrift!
“That was day one of a week, so there was nothing I could do apart from a massive combover to hide it for the rest of the week!”
Note to self, never prank Kimi, ever!
The 16 days of fun and missed Lotus test
Sticking with wild, boozy stories, after finishing P2 in Bahrain back in 2012 from P11 on the grid, Kimi and his mate, ice hockey player Kimmo ‘Piki’ Pikkarainen, were at a party hosted by the Prince of Bahrain which kicked-off 16 crazy days!
Finding himself in a swimming pool with his clothes on, attempting to imitate Maradona, a trip to Helsinki for the May 1st celebrations and twisting his ankle, which caused him to miss a Lotus test, were all part of the antics. Kimi had at one stage been using a baggage trolley to move around his house while he recovered from the injury.
Back to Formula 1 business it was though as the Spanish Grand Prix came around, where he crossed the line P3 in the Lotus to make it back-to-back podium finishes.
Lost at Interlagos
As Kimi slid off at Juncao on a damp circuit back at the 2012 Brazilian GP, he took to the old track which he believed he could use to return to the current one, but instead, all he met was a gate to ensure that his plan was ruined.
A very smooth 180-degrees spin quickly got Kimi facing the right way again as he bolted for the active part of the track, cutting over the grass to rejoin proceedings. He still managed to score a point!
Repairing the Ferrari toilet
As well as being very good at driving a Formula 1 car, Kimi also was a pretty decent mechanic, even if he didn’t finish his course.
That came in handy one day in 2017 when the toilet on the Ferrari bus was not working correctly in Barcelona, where pre-season testing was taking place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
Handed the necessary tools, Kimi found that the system was similar to the one on his boat, and quickly got the Ferrari toilet back in full working order.