From falling off a boat to missing Pele presentation for a s***, Kimi Raikkonen has been great value in F1 as former world champion announces his retirement
From falling off a boat drunk to avoiding Pele for a toilet break, Kimi Raikkonen has had plenty of legendary moments in Formula 1 to even rival his 2007 world title.
And with the 41-year-old announcing his retirement from the sport on Wednesday after 19 seasons and 341 races, now is as good a time as any to look back at a famed career of one of the sport’s biggest characters.
The usually quiet Finnish driver, nicknamed ‘The Iceman’ initially won fans over with his performances on the track, threatening to dethrone Michael Schumacher during his early McLaren career, before winning Ferrari’s last world title by just a single point back in ‘07.
But off the track was where Raikkonen came into his own. Clearly less than pleased about the constant media interviews, the Finn’s answers are often short and sweet, and occasionally hilarious.
Raikkonen has also drawn parallels to former British world champion James Hunt for his off-track persona, even wearing a tribute helmet back in the 2012 Monaco Grand Prix.
The current Alfa Romeo driver announced his retirement on Instagram on Wednesday in an unusually wordy post, giving talkSPORT the perfect opportunity to look back at the funniest moments from a larger-than-life career…
“I was having a s***”
Back during the final race of the 2006 season, Raikkonen was clearly in a relaxed mood as Schumacher and Fernando Alonso prepared to fight it out for the world title in Brazil.
So relaxed in fact, that he missed Pele presenting an award to seven-time champion Schumacher in his final race, and when questioned by broadcaster Martin Brundle on air about his no show, Raikkonen told his unsuspecting interviewer that nature had called.
Injures himself at the Monaco Grand Prix, but on a boat…
Raikkonen has had a number of iconic moments at Monaco, including the Hunt helmet, as well as a win with McLaren in 2005.
Appearing tipsy on the top deck of a super yacht during his McLaren career, Raikkonen was attempting to lob a pole off the ship, before losing his balance and plummeting head first down the side of the boat.
Debrief? How about some sunbathing instead?
Raikkonen’s early McLaren career was characterised by extraordinary speed, as well a lack of infuriating reliability, losing out on multiple early-career titles as his Mercedes powered car regularly gave up on him.
In 2006, the year before he moved to Ferrari and took the title, Raikkonen had given up letting unreliability get to him when his McLaren packed up in Monaco.
After jumping out of his stricken car, Raikkonen appeared to be wandering back to the pits for a debrief, but was soon spotted with his shirt off in one of the harbour’s boats.
“Just leave me alone, I know what to do!”
Despite starting the most races of any driver in the sport’s history, Raikkonen did step away for two years in 2009 when his Ferrari seat was given to Fernando Alonso.
Returning to Lotus in 2012, he commenced one of F1’s feel good stories, taking the historic team back towards the front of the grid.
A surprisingly successful season saw three podiums, before Raikkonen took his first win back in the sport in Abu Dhabi.
Whilst cruising towards victory, Raikkonen had no time for radio updates from his engineer, saying: “Just leave me alone, I know what to do!”
‘Drunk’ Kimi becomes a meme
The FIA end of season prize giving ceremony is often a treasured event for drivers in line for an award, but for second and third-placed Ferrari pair Sebastian Vettel and Raikkonen, they appeared to be there for the free drinks.
The duo’s wives nervous expressions hinted at what was about to happen as their partners were called up on stage, with the stumbling Raikkonen hugging and applauding everyone in sight.