Kimi Raikkonen’s 300th Career Race – What an Utterly Normal Occasion

f1chronicle-Kimi Raikkonen
f1chronicle-Kimi Raikkonen

The only person who’s sure whether he can score some points for Alfa Romeo this weekend is Kimi Raikkonen himself. 

What Vasseur says won’t help. 

Bosses always motivate you and want the best. This, after all, is someone who’s glad Kimi’s with him. 

What Giovinazzi says won’t matter. It’s better he first opened his account this year. 

What the fans say should have mattered but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way in Formula 1 as with any other sport. 

That leaves us with the same old proposition with the same ‘old’ driver- Kimi Matias Raikkonen, who returns to the scene of his famous 2005 victory, albeit in a different team and under very different circumstances. 

And it’s that, regardless of whether you were an F1 pundit or a nerdy fan who’s got his hashtags right, Kimi, upon being asked “how do you feel about your chances at scoring points this weekend” said, in an utterly Kimi Raikkonen way- “I mean, it’s a normal thing; another race at the end of the day. We try to do do what we can!”

In fact, the Finn tried to play down this weekend, telling Formula1.com “I tried to force them to cancel everything, but I’ve not had very good success so far, it’s no different from last week or the next race. In the end this is just a number. For sure it’s different from the first race but after that, once you go on for a while, it doesn’t really change.”

“You enjoy more when it goes well. When it doesn’t go that well it’s not that much fun, but the driving hasn’t really changed. Yes, the cars have changed in some ways but I don’t think the driving has changed.

But if you thought that driving the turbo-powered engines vis-a-vis the V10s was the only thing that changed, then maybe there’s more. 

Kimi, who was not only 26 when he climbed on top of the podium in front of the principality is now nearing 40. 

“It doesn’t feel that long, honestly,” said Raikkonen, reflecting on his time in F1. “Having two years out, without that for sure I wouldn’t be here today. That kind of somehow made it not to feel that long, having a bit of a ‘normal time’ in that time.

“Afterwards, whenever I stop and maybe look back, then it makes a bit more sense and feels a bit more different. Now for me, I don’t really feel that it’s been that long. I had some good races, some good results, but it’s just racing at the end of the day.”

Apart from the fact that he’s the oldest man on the grid, someone who’s proven himself to be the fastest in a sport driven by reflexes – see his 1:18:118 at Monza last year – The Iceman is moments away from entering his 300th Grand Prix. 

Kimi Raikkonen fans in Shanghai, 2019.
Kimi Raikkonen fans in Shanghai, 2019.

There we have it, again. 

Maybe a big deal for you. 

But for the 2007 World Champion, the one who battled a duo that’s pretty much owned the 2019 season, and his own teammate, it’s another occasion to utter “Bwoah” and act normal. 

Normal as only he can. 

Normal as only we know he can be. 

Normal as only Raikkonen – the man who clinched pole on this very track two years ago, holding on to lap 33 before cutting a sorry figure despite that P2 – on the podium could’ve ever been. 

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