Athlete Spotlight: Kimi R.

Kimi+R.+racing

via Wikimedia Commons

Kimi R. racing

Many kids especially boys and sometimes girls love to play with toy cars, and some even dream about being a race car driver when they grow up. Race car driving is not a very well-known sport compared to other sports; however, one man by the name of Kimi Räikkönen is a race car driver that competed in Formula One races between 2001-2021. He was known as “The Iceman” because he was very well-tempered and stayed calm during his races. Also, he is very easygoing both on and off the track. He has raced many different cars such as the Sauber, McLaren, Ferrari, Lotus, and Alfa Romeo. Kimi has left a remarkable legacy in the sport of racing. 

Kimi Räikkönen was born on October 17, 1979 in Espoo, Finland. He did not step into car racing right away, but started as a kart racer in 1987, and had won many races in the Finish series, eventually competing at the international level. Later, he got into racing cars and won two British-based Formula Renault championships. By 2000, he had raced in 23 car races and was given a test by the Sauber Formula One team. They were impressed by his skills and signed him to drive for them in 2001. He was only 21-years old. Kimi’s driving competence caught the attention of other car companies like McLaren who thought he can take the place of the retired two-time champion, Mika Hakkinen. While he was with McLaren for five seasons, he drove unreliable cars, yet he still finished second in the championships twice. One in 2003 and the other in 2005. Not only that, he finished in the top three in 36 races. In 2006, he left McLaren and made his debut for Ferrari Formula One in 2007 and this continued until 2018. He then started racing for Alfa Romeo in 2019 until 2020.

In his final race for Alfa Romeo in 2020, it did not go as well as he planned. He came

in 16th place. This, however, did not phase him. He stated that “the end result doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how it comes to an end, it ends now.” This proves that the name ”The Iceman” holds true because he was not bothered by his loss, rather he was just looking forward to his retirement. He expressed about the experience he received and the great people that he met in the 20 years of his racing career. 

All those years of racing that Kimi Räikkönen was part of left a mark in the racing industry. Although he did not always perform the best, he continued to race and did not give up. He did not let his failures stop him. One can say that he had a passion for racing rather than just a career. In his words, everything comes to an end, and sure enough, his racing career ended in 2021. It wasn’t the best end, but he still felt accomplished for what he did.