Kimi Räikkönen assembled Robin’s first kart in Helsinki with a person of trust. Daughter Rianna is probably the next customer.
Kimi Räikkönen is fully immersed in the karting hobby with his four-year-old son Robin. And as it’s customary with karting, parents need to help their children set up their cars.
Räikkönen is not afraid of handcraft. It was a good example of this when he arrived at Racing Service Jaatinen’s premises in Helsinki in the early autumn.
Alone with a van the world star came to pick up his son’s go-kart from his old creditor, 66-year-old Lasse Jaatinen.
Räikkönen’s visit was extremely strong nostalgia. Namely, Lasse Jaatinen was once a strong supporter of the karting hobby of the Räikkönen family, when Kimi was still dreaming of F1.
Jaatinen had not met Räikkonen for years. In fact, Jaatinen had last seen Kimi in Helsinki in 2007 at a private World Championship celebration, so 12 years ago. In the autumn, the old acquaintances met for a long time. The reunion was warm.
“It was great to see for a long time! It felt really nice. It was like the good old times when Kimi came here as a little boy”, Lasse Jaatinen tells Ilta-Sanomat.
Jaatinen supported the Räikkösten family during Kimi’s childhood in many ways, and the family even got into debt for goods and services.
“Today, Kimi is a world star but he hasn’t changed at all. He was just the same like the little boy”, says Jaatinen.
Encouraged by Räikkönen’s approach, Jaatinen and his colleague Toni Saarinen dared to put the F1 star to work.
“Robin’s car wasn’t quite ready when Kimi came. So we let Kimi do some installation work on his son’s car”, Jaatinen smiles. “The tools were still in Kimi’s hands,” he says.
Based on what you saw, would you hire Räikkönen?
“Of course! We just don’t have the money to hire him. Not as a mechanic, and especially not as a test driver”, Jaatinen chuckled.
During the installation work, people started talking nicely and roasted coffee in the traditional Finnish way.
At the workshop Räikkönen revealed that the youngest in the family, two year old Rianna, may also need the services of Racing Service Jaatinen .
“Kimi told me that Rianna is a daredevil and also very interested in racing. It may well be, that also Kimi’s girl will sit in a kart.”
Robin Räikkönen’s first contact with karting took place in the summer through Jaatinen. Kimi Räikkönen called his old creditor, who had a kart suitable for Robin at the Bemböle track.
Robin was fond of karting, so he had to get his own kart. At this stage, a sponsor also came in, even though the boy is only four years old. Karting manufacturer CRG noticed that Robin used their karts in his trial run. Jaatinen has a CRG import in Finland and things were moving fast. So soon Kimi Räikkönen arrived to pick up Robin’s first kart from Jaatinen.
“Robin’s kart is Puffo-kart, which is intended for 4-6-year-olds. It has a 35 cc four-stroke engine. Its top speed is just under 40 kilometers per hour”, Jaatinen reports.
Following the nostalgic installation routines described above, Robin’s kart was towed to Kimi’s van. According to Jaatinen, the car ended up in the Räikkönen home in Switzerland.
“Kimi said that they might go karting with Robin in Holland, for example, and then come back to Finland next summer. It may be that next summer, Robin will need a more efficient kart and this first kart will remain with Rianna,” long-time motorsportman Lasse Jaatinen speculated.