Kimi Räikkönen’s biography was presented in Helsinki: “I almost fully read it”

Collection of translated articles about the launch event of “The Unknown Kimi Räikkönen” on 16 October 2018 in Helsinki:

Räikkönen laughed in the middle of the fans – “Even friends do not call me”

Kimi Räikkönen attracted hundreds of fans to Kamppi to listen to what he has to say about the book.

– I almost fully read it, Räikkönen made his audience laugh.

A good-natured Räikkönen, told for example, that he has not encountered many toadies during his long public career.

– I don’t get many calls anymore. Basically, even my friends don’t call me when they know I don’t answer the phone, Kimi said and the audience again chants.

– There are a lot of questions and suggestions. But I’ve never experienced that it was a problem.

Kimi Räikkönen thinks the date of publication of the book is correct

Many athletes will only release a biography after the end of their career but Räikkönen, who is racing for Ferrari, has Formula 1 races left at least this season and, according to several sources, also next season.

– Now it was a good time and perhaps such a good writer found that it’s not known if he would have been able to do 10 years later, if he even would be interested. It’s a small recapitulation so far, Räikkönen said in an interview with MTV Sport at the publication of the book.

It was important for Räikkönen that the book not only focus on his driving habits, but the colorful stories off the F1 tracks.

“We agreed that no one is interested in the results, but that there is a bigger story, Räikkönen said.

Would Räikkönen be able to win even more in F1 without alcohol? “Certainly not”

In the biography of Kimi Räikkönen, a wide range of drinks are opened from the Finnish driver, even during the F1 season. Räikkönen himself does not see his alcohol consumption special.

Would Räikkönen be able to drive even better without alcohol?

– No, certainly not. Maybe even worse, I could imagine, the F1 star said on Yle Sports.

– It’s probably hard for people to understand, it seems pretty intense. It’s a normal thing for me. People in motor sport are a bit extraordinary. I can understand that someone reads it and goes wow, what is this story about?

Räikkönen emphasized at the presentation that he’s been training so hard, that the celebration trips didn’t influence the results.

– Maybe it has brought me to get a clean mind and go to new challenges, towards new things, Räikkönen reckons.

– Then you have to focus on what you are doing.

In addition, such books are often written after a career, but Räikkönen is still an active Ferrari driver.

– I don’t think it needs any reason. Maybe it’s confusing the media pack more, Räikkönen grinned at the question of the reasons for the release.

He admits that book reception is of interest. According to publishing company Siltala, the first edition of 50,000 copies has been sold out.

– It is interesting what people think about the book itself. What feelings they have.

In Räikkönen’s book, he opens up on the importance of family and how much time he has to spend away from his wife Minttu and his children, Robin and Rianna.

Still, the driver has continued his career with Ferrari year after year. What still motivates to be at the track?

– I’m not there for anything other than racing and driving. It’s still interesting. It’s fun and I dig it, Räikkönen says.

– With the family I could be more but it’s all about organizing aspects. There are always a few compromises in life. Somewhere in the future I can be home from day to day.

Now Räikkönen is acquainted with Hotakainen’s production, namely by reading a self-written book about him the previous night.

– I read yesterday in the evening and last night about this work. I have not read anything else, and I probably will not read. Nothing personal, Räikkönen grinned at the publication of the book in Helsinki on Thursday.

– I’m generally so bad at reading anything. Of course, audio books are coming, so you can listen to them, the F1 star sums up.

Kimi Räikkönen appeared differently than usual although he thought familiar: “If I had to decide, no one would sit here”

Finland’s most famous sports star appeared differently than the public image from the F1 paddock.

Kimi Räikkönen is even talkative, cultivating a lot of humor, warm, likes to celebrate properly, takes other people into consideration, and so on.

Approximately like this, Räikkönen, 38, is often depicted over the years, when friends and relatives have come to talk, who know more than just the Iceman of the F1 paddock.

The unknown Kimi Räikkönen (Siltala), written by Kari Hotakainen, supports in many ways the image of the “real” Kimi Räikkönen which has not been publicly seen.

It tells of warmth and loyalty, always giving priority to his family and a man who gives value to dry humor and speaks of his adventures with the most colorful words.

Räikkönen does not like publicity or giving interviews. Although you can notice that often, you couldn’t notice yesterday. Or you could, but only when he answered the question related to the subject.

– If I had to decide, no one would sit here tonight but I don’t have so much against it. Now I sit here for a moment. This is not so terrible now, Räikkönen said with a smile.

He also flashed several times his humor and joked, sitting beside Hotakainen. It was easy to perceive why Räikkönen chose Hotakainen to write his story. The co-operation worked well.

When Räikkönen and Hotakainen were asked what they knew about each other, both responded with the same words:

– I knew the name.

When Hotakainen complained about Räikkönen’s driving style and speeds on civilian rails, Räikkönen responded:

– I’ve certainly given you also the possibility that you can walk.

As the general part of the press conference ended, there were still private interviews with magazines and TV channels to do with Räikkönen and Hotakainen.

– They have been canceled, Räikkönen said in jest.

Kimi Räikkönen tells why Kari Hotakainen wrote a book about him – the duo joked like old friends: “You would not fit however!”

Kimi Räikkönen and Kari Hotakainen sat in front of media on Thursday after the end product of the year-long co-operation, the Unknown Kimi Räikkönen book (Siltala), appeared on store shelves.

One of the biggest questions in the book was the reason why Räikkönen, a man who is notorious for not talking – now wants to talk and make a book.

Räikkönen didn’t seem to know a direct answer to the question.

– It’s hard to say why. This is not a biography anyway, hopefully it’s not such a short life. There is probably not a single reason for that. The interest became the largest part, Räikkönen said.

Various authors have shown interest for years. So also Hotakainen who remembers that he had approached the Räikkönen camp for the first time in 2011.

According to Räikkönen, Hotakainen was ultimately a natural choice as a writer since he has been repeating from the beginning that he does not know anything about Formula One.

– Sometimes I have thought about it, that if a book or else is done, the author should be one who does not have any idea of any kind of me as a person. Then the picture and the story become more real. Kari is a pretty great writer, Räikkönen said, although he confessed that he knew only Hotakainen’s name in advance.

– I’m bad at reading books. Sami (Visa) has told me, wife and mother also.

Ignorance was anyway mutual.

– I don’t know anything about writing a book, Räikkönen said.

– There are quite a few differences between writing and F1. Kimi could change to my field, but I could not change to Formula One. I don’t fit into the car because of the abdominal obesity, Hotakainen joked.

It was tried out.

– Kimi said, “You would not fit however!”

Despite the lack of a common background, the two got along very well. Both Räikkönen and Hotakainen talk a lot about the fact that they were on the same wavelength.

– Suddenly we discovered that we understand each other very well. Then it went pretty on its own. I did not have awful lot to do other than remember, Räikkönen said.

– The description is what it is. I do not wish for anything. I have lived my life, in my own way. I was as honest as I could be. I do not really care whether someone likes it or not. The story tells you what happened.

Kimi Räikkönen speaks about drawbacks of publicity – sharp blurted benefits made the audience laugh: “There is probably nothing!”

– When you think about it quickly, then I’m sure nothing! said the 38-year-old Ferrari driver on Thursday at a public announcement when asked about the benefits of publicity during his career.

The audience in the area was very amused until Räikkönen became serious.

– I’ve never really done anything to get attention and publicity. The lesser the better. It has not felt right for me.

However, the years have taught. And when the rest of life is in balance, we have seen in recent times a much more good-humored Räikkönen.

Or so at least appeared to the outside.

– Of course you get used to everything. At first it was a bit strange, but nowadays it’s already quite normal.

– I have not been interested in anything else than driving. This has not changed much over the years. I understand what things are related to my job, and some I can’t influence myself.

Räikkönen denies that over the years he would have been angered by the fact that he has been interpreted in public through his professional role, the Iceman.

– Basically, it does not annoy me when I don’t really care what everyone is writing. And even if interested, so is the author’s own view. Everyone can freely say their own opinion, there is nothing wrong with it.

He also does not believe that the book and a new image painted by it will affect how Kimi Räikkönen will be treated in public in the future.

– But terribly they (journalists) will have to correct their old writings, if their opinion of me changes all the time, Räikkönen grinned.

Because he is famous, Räikkönen has to do many leisure activities in a very different way from “ordinary” people.

However, everything is not possible.

– Maybe the kids would benefit if nobody knows. You could go to Linnanmäki and spend some free time and nobody would be asking for a picture or anything.

– Of course there are countries that I can go and won’t be recognized, but it is a limitation living with children in a certain way.

But most importantly, Räikkönen sees the ability to be as good a father as possible.

– There is no A4 paper that tells you how to be and what not to do. The most important thing is that I am present and spending time with the children. Hopefully the end result is good. It will be seen later how things turned out.

Kimi Räikkönen, what was your first thought, when you heard, someone wants to write a book about you?

“It’s a little tricky to say. Quite a few times there has been the desire to do so. The answer in the past has always been no. One big factor was Kari [Hotakainen]. It could be different than many would have thought. ”

You did not want the biography of your life so far?

“I didn’t. I liked the fact that Kari was someone who doesn’t know Formula One and we did not know each other. It became even more honest.

What is it like to be the protagonist of the book?

“It does not change anything. I had to put my face on so many magazines, wanted or not. I do not feel this different.”

You do not like anything about Formula One apart from driving. Has it changed over the years?

“I don’t think it’s changed. It has never been the reason why I wanted to drive. The main thing has always been driving and I’ve said from the beginning that I don’t dig other things. I understand that it’s a big part of the whole thing and it’s okay to take care of it. There [in F1 world] are 80% the same people. It is so useless and the same repeat and talk.”

In the book, you wonder that Nico Rosberg came back right after leaving. You obviously will not do the same?

“I won’t. When I wasn’t in F1 a few years, I was once in one place, but not because of the race. I don’t see myself there. Yes [after retirement] I want to spend my time somewhere else.”

What are you doing next year?

“I don’t know yet.”

“There is no bullshit between Seb and me”

Auto Bild: Mr. Räikkönen, how is your mood right now?

Kimi Räikkönen (laughs): That depends if you annoy me or not.

Do you know that for many journalists it is a test of courage to talk with you? You are at the top of the list when it’s about buzzing nerves and pressure for the colleagues. Of course only for the colleagues..

.. Räikkönen laughes again and shrugs with his shoulders.

But you aren’t that secretive anymore. Sebastian Vettel has already regretted that he lost you as an ally among the social media deniers. 2 years ago also we would have made every bet that you are never on Instagram. What or who is behind our misjudgment?

It was only my decision, I want to emphasize that here (laughs). But something has indeed changed in my life …

You are now a happy family man! You seem much more relaxed since you have 2 kids.

May be. I don’t know. My life has become more exhausting but also happier. But privately I always have been a completely different person. Probably people always imagine that I would have a totally crazy life. But it’s not like this. Only my job is just a bit different. That’s why I have to give interviews and I’m in the papers. Although I don’t like this at all.

How have your children Robin (3) and Rianna (1) changed your life? You proudly wear the picture of your son as a tattoo on you arm.

Today a lot. That has happened little by little. I was a bit briefed by my brother, who already became a father before me. But honestly, when you hear for the first time that you are becoming a father, you have no idea how life will change. Robin asks many questions, that you have to answer first. I like how innocent little children are, how free in their mind. At the same time Robin is my new best friend. It’s true: 10 years ago I couldn’t have imagine this. But life only really starts with children. It has a bigger meaning.

In the past you were the Iceman, who couldn’t even upset anything in the car, and who was known for his – let’s say – laidback lifestyle. And now?

.. I was scared when I first held my son in my hands (holds both hands up and stares fearfully at the imaginary baby in between). I was tense when I picked him up at the clinic. I didn’t quite know what I should do when he screamed the first time. With the second baby you have already routine.

Is Formula 1 less important now because of your children?

No, because Formula 1 was never my life. I can separate that. Extremely actually. My private life is completely different than my life at the track. I love racing, not the rest. That’s why I won’t have any problems when I have to retire eventually.
My buddies noticed early on: “Don’t ask questions about my job. You won’t get serious answers.” I don’t like to talk unnecessarily about my job in my private life.

Does that apply also for Robin?

(laughs) No, not quite. He is now at an age where he notices what I do. For example, that my car is red. He asks and he is the only one who gets answers.

Will you also tell your kids that life isn’t a bed of roses? You grew up in very modest conditions.

Of course I will. My childhood was very different. They should know that it isn’t normal to grow up in luxury. And that life is not a picnic but rather an obstacle course.

What is Robin’s native tongue?

Robin grows up with Finnish and English. Luckily, he learns through play. I had to work really hard because I was 20 already. He has an English nanny and goes to an English-language kindergarten.”

Will Robin become a racing driver?

I don’t know what Robin wants to do. He is definitely interested in cars and bikes. Like his father (laughs). If I had not become a racing driver, I would definitely have done something with cars. Even if everything was very different back then.
My first car was a Lada. Today I drive Ferrari. What’s funny: In the car Robin never wants to sit at the back but always in front. One thing is certain: he can do whatever he wants. I force him into nothing.

Let’s come to the boring part of the interview. About the job: Does it make you happy when Sebastian Vettel praises you and says he wants to keep you in the team?

Of course it’s nice to hear. In any case it’s better than if he would say that I’m an idiot. In fact he says that also but more rarely (laughs). Seriously: we have always got along well. With him there are no politics or other bullshit but a totally normal male friendship. Of course I would like to stay but that is alone Ferrari’s decision. I wait for it same as you do.

How is such a friendship possible in a highly political sport?

He is very straight forward and hasn’t changed with his success. Even when we sometimes crashed, it’s not a topic anymore after we talked about it. Also after our crash in Singapore 2017 there were neither discussions nor silence. He is a guy who can admit that it was his mistake and I’m the same. It is much better to work in this nice atmosphere. That also makes the car quicker than if we would be at war with each other.
We both have the same aim: make Ferrari the world champion. We complete each other very well in our ways to push the team.

You already became world champion with Ferrari. Have you ever told Vettel how special it is to win the title with the red car?

(Raikkonen laughs again. Actually, he grins all the time.) No idea. You have to ask him. The title is always something special. He has won it 4 times already with someone else, I only with Ferrari. But if I can choose, I prefer to win in red. Ask Seb when he has done it. Probably it is special. I wouldn’t begrudge it to him.

In Spielberg you finished ahead of Vettel, in Hockenheim you apologized for holding him back. Will you help him in the title fight against Hamilton?

At a certain point in the championship, the team has priority. That is clear for me then. I’m not just here since yesterday. For me that is so normal like when you do an interview.

Normally perhaps but not with Kimi Raikkonen …

source: Auto Bild