Norris reveals he never had a chat with Raikkonen

Date published: April 15 2022 - Jamie Woodhouse

Kimi Raikkonen behind Lando Norris. Hungary, August 2019.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lando Norris says he never had a proper chat with ex-Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen.

Norris and Raikkonen were certainly at the opposite end of their careers during the time when they shared the grid between 2019 and 2021.

Norris burst onto the scene in 2019, spending that season and the following two establishing himself as a potential future star, helping to drag McLaren back up to the front of the midfield.

Raikkonen, meanwhile, in 2019 was settling into life at Alfa Romeo, looking to enjoy the twilight years of his career, F1 now serving effectively as a hobby to him after exiting Ferrari.

However, at no point did they strike up any sort of conversation.

Asked if he misses Raikkonen during a fans’ Q&A on the Quadrant YouTube channel, Norris replied: “I don’t think I ever said a word to him apart from a ‘you alright?’, like when you walk past someone you know but don’t really know.”

Raikkonen earned his nickname of ‘The Iceman’ through his cold and direct persona, which according to many personnel around the Formula 1 paddock was far from the true Kimi seen when away from the cameras.

He certainly did not like speaking to the media, so his interviews are perhaps the only part of Raikkonen that Norris misses.

“I miss watching Kimi. I miss his interviews and that side [of him]. But apart from that, no,” Norris added.

When Raikkonen retired at the end of 2021, a popular figure on the Formula 1 grid was lost.

Fortunately though, Norris says the series still has an “exciting grid” to keep everyone gripped.

“There are plenty of other cool people in the world and we have an exciting grid,” said the Briton.

Of course, Raikkonen’s reputation in Formula 1 was not all about that frosty approach, for he also achieved a lot of success on the track.

In his career, Raikkonen achieved 21 race wins, 103 podium finishes and 18 pole positions, with the crowning achievement being his World Championship in 2007.

Another fan question asked whether Raikkonen would feature in Norris’ list of five drivers whom he would combine to make the ultimate Formula 1 driver.

To answer this question, Norris chose to combine five drivers on the current grid.

 

“I’ll go with present drivers, not past,” he began. “You’d have Lewis [Hamilton] in there, you’d have Max [Verstappen], I love Fernando [Alonso], a bit of Carlos [Sainz] and a bit of Yuki [Tsunoda].

“Yuki loves a bit of radio scream, so just for pure entertainment I’d put Yuki in there.

“I missed Charles [Leclerc] out, I feel bad, but from those others I think [if] you put them together you’d have pretty much an unbeatable driver.”