Kimi Raikkonen is a man who doesn’t appreciate being touched, even if it is by marshals just wanting to lend a helping hand.
Formula 1’s favourite Finn is a man of few words and apparently he is also a man of few touches.
While many have wondered for years whether Raikkonen with his one word answers, and even occasional grunts, likes people, one thing has now been cleared up: He doesn’t like people touching him.
Unfortunately for Formula 1’s marshals, they have at times been on the receiving end of his ire for doing just that, even if it is their job.
Writing ‘The Real Kimi Raikkonen – a Finnish perspective of the Iceman’ for the official F1 website, Finnish journalist Heikki Kulta offered a few insights into the 2007 World Champion’s personality.
“My first significant lesson in Raikkonen’s dislike of people getting too close to him was in 2002, when he was driving for McLaren,” he wrote.
“I was having coffee with his father, Matti, in the McLaren hospitality suite at Monaco.
“We were watching free practice when Kimi approached a corner too fast, his car spun back onto the track after hitting the steel barrier and marshals rushed to help him out of the car.
“”Now there’ll be trouble,” said Matti when he saw the attempt to help his son.
“Raikkonen pushed away the first marshal to reach him. “Kimi has never liked strangers touching him. And that’s what always happens.”
“A couple of years later, Raikkonen was battling for victory at Hockenheim when he lost his rear wing at high speed and the car crashed into the barrier.
“He hit his head and, for a moment, saw stars, but came to when the marshals dashed to check his condition and pull him to safety.
“His subsequent outburst startled onlookers, but they thought it was simply an expression of his disappointment.
“Afterwards, however, Raikkonen seemed to be fully conscious of what he had done. “Even if I had won the race, I would have done the same thing if someone I didn’t know manhandled me like that. I just can’t stand that sort of thing,” he admitted.”