The Unknown Kimi Raikkonen


The book written by Kari Hotakainen starts at the Malaysian Grand Prix and ends at Kimi’s home. This is an indicator that the author was given unfettered access into Kimi’s life. Anybody who follows Kimi knows that he is taciturn and likes keeping to himself. You have to wonder what made him open up about details that are not known to the wider public.

He talks about his early life and how his father being a mechanic helped the Raikkonen brothers rise in the world of driving. While Rami, the younger one, gave it up, Kimi kept at it. Kimi talks of his father fondly and the chapter where he talks about his father’s death and his regret is something that will have you rushing to mend fences with your father. 

Kimi’s beginnings have stayed with him as he values the mechanics in the team and he is generally on first-name basis with them. An incident that finds repeated mentions in the book is about the time he fixed the toilet in the Ferrari bus.

We can delve deep into his personality when he talks. Like the instance, when he says this 

I like being in the car; driving is the one good thing about the whole job. You’re left alone 

The love he has towards his family is more than the love he has for his profession. He is aware of the responsibilities that come with being an F1 driver and he doesn’t avoid them. 

Like the author says 

Kimi isn’t the first Finnish sportsman to shun the microphone, or to fear it. But he’s the first one whose reticence has become an international brand

We know him as a driver. As fans of Kimi/F1, we would be eager to know about the journey that got him here in the first place. The fact that he is talented shines through at more times than not in this phase of his life. He makes light of his struggles in foreign land, but that only made him stronger. 

His rise to F1 is unmatched; before and after. So, it is amusing when he says that he is scared – not of driving, but of failing. 

There is a wild side to Kimi. The detour to Iceland. The party with Bahrain prince, the parties on his yacht. All of them and more incidents find a mention.

He makes his contempt for mobile phones very clear. He doesn’t regard them as a part of his life. His phone is always on silent and he has thrown away his mobile phone on more occasions than one. 

He is fiercely loyal; to the people he grew up with, to the people he works with and to the values he grew up with. It is said that Ron Dennis tried to infiltrate him into the high society but failed.

With the pressure on his time and a growing family at home, he values time dearly and makes no bones about travelling in chartered flights. He wants to be home as soon as possible rather than wait for scheduled flights. 

The only disappointment in the book is that it ends too early and more than half of the book is devoted to statistics. 

Categories: Books

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