Call Kimi Raikkonen “not motivated” or even “arrogant”, he really doesn’t care what you have to say about him.
The Finn is one of the most popular drivers on the grid, known for saying what he wants to say and in as few words as possible.
From “having a shit” when Pele presented Michael Schumacher with an award in 2016 to hopping onto a yacht when he retired from the 2006 Monaco GP to eating an ice cream while the rest of the grid waited for the 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix to be restarted, Raikkonen has always done what he wants.
While that has endured him to the fans, it has led to criticism from others most notably former Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, who questioned the driver’s motivation before giving him the boot.
Journalists have also given him a tough time over the years with mixed reaction to the Finn re-signing with Alfa Romeo for the 2021 season. While some are delighted that he is continuing, others feel he is taking up a seat that should have gone to a youngster.
Raikkonen “really” doesn’t care.
“I don’t really care what people write about me and this idea that I don’t care,” he told the Daily Mail.
“I’m sure that the people I work with, and have worked with, know what happens so I have zero interest in stories like this.
“I keep to myself and I do what I think is necessary and if people think I don’t do much then I have zero interest in proving to them what I do and don’t do.
“If I was the last one to leave the paddock, it would make no difference because I always feel that when you have done your work, it is pointless to hang around.
“There are better things to do in order to get ready and if that’s at the hotel, that’s fine. Maybe it looks better if you leave late and it looks like you are working harder but I have had this discipline for a lot of years.
“If all the meetings and all the work are done, I see absolutely no reason to stay here. I have seen stories that I’m not motivated or that I’m arrogant but if I didn’t have any interest in these things, I wouldn’t have signed my contracts.
“I enjoy the racing and trying to solve issues and improving and making the car better. I truly don’t like the rest of it but that has always been part of it.”
While he loves his job as a Formula 1 driver, he says he could do without the attention that comes with it.
“If I could do the same job without any of that, it would be perfect but unfortunately that’s not possible,” he said.
“I’m not the type of person who spends a lot of time in shopping malls anyway, and if I want to go to the supermarket to get some food, I make sure I don’t go at 5pm.”
Asked whether the 41-year-old, F1’s most experienced driver ever, still enjoyed racing, he replied with a smile: “Luckily, it’s not every weekend.”