“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

 

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