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Kimi Raikkonen

Five Kimi Raikkonen moments you forgot on his 44th birthday

The Iceman is 44 years old today (October 17th) - here are some moments from his long career you might have forgotten.

Raikkonen US 2018
To news overview © XPBimages

The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the final Formula 1 Grand Prix for Kimi Raikkonen as the 2007 World Champion bowed out after 349 starts, 21 wins and a whole back catalogue of radio messages.

Now, that race might be remembered for other things, but Raikkonen retired with brake problems on Lap 25 for a quiet end to a career that started in 2001 as a fresh-faced kid and ended as a grizzled veteran.

These days, Raikkonen is enjoying family life with his wife Minttu and three children, including a baby daughter born in June 2023.

The young Raikkonens have even taken to the race track in go-karting.

To celebrate Raikkonen's 44th birthday, RacingNews365 has delved back through the history books to come up with five moments from his career that you might have forgot. This is firmly a gloves and steering wheel-free zone...

2001 - placed on probation

When Peter Sauber saw enough and put Raikkonen in for the 2001 season, there was shock in the paddock.

Famously, Raikkonen had just 23 car race starts, and 13 wins, to his name through junior series, with then FIA President Max Mosley concerned about the perceived inexperience.

Raikkonen was effectively put on probabtion by Mosley with regular performance checks with the threat of being demoted back to junior series a possibility.

These were essentially made redundant when he scored a point in sixth place on his debut for Sauber in Australia (after other points finishers were disqualified) as he went onto replace fellow Finn Mika Hakkinen at McLaren for 2002.

Nurburgring 2005

The oldest adage in motorsport is to finish first, first you must finish.

It is something Raikkonen learned the hard way in 2005 when the racers in he and McLaren wanted to go for the win at the Nurburgring despite a badly flat-spotted right-front Michelin.

These were the days of one single set of tyres being required to complete both qualifying and the race, introduced partly to disrupt the Ferrari/Bridgestone crushing dominance.

However, in the race in Germany, Raikkonen locked up while lapping Jacques Villeneuve, but under the rules could not change tyres as he had not suffered a puncture.

And so, with the vibrations he carried on, leading when on the final lap under braking for Turn 1, the suspension finally failed, sending him spinning into the gravel, and handing Alonso an unexpected win.

The rules were later changed by the FIA during the season to allow a change of tyres if one had been dangerous in its condition.

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	© xpb.cc

Monaco 2007

On the face of it, a simple eighth-place finish and a single point in Monaco is a disastrous return but that single point was probably the most important one Raikkonen ever scored.

After a wall-strike in Q2 put him out early and left the Ferrari 16th on the grid, he recovered up to P8 to bank the point as Alonso beat Hamilton to the flag - a result which would trigger the start of events that rocked McLaren.

Fast forward to October and the Brazil finale, Raikkonen finished on 110 points having been eased past team-mate Felipe Massa during the pit-stop sequence.

He had been the rank outsider heading to Sao Paulo with Hamilton on 107 points and Alonso on 103, meaning if Hamilton finished in the top five, Raikkonen could not win the title.

Gearbox gremlins meant Hamilton was only seventh - banking two points while Alonso hauled six for his third place.

Once it all shook out, Raikkonen had 110, Hamilton 109 and Alonso 109 in the final standings in a season where the Finn won five times and second and third twice each in the other five across the final 10 rounds of the season.

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	© xpb.cc

Brazil 2012

After time away from F1 between 2010-2011, Raikkonen returned with Lotus for 2012 and enjoyed a solid first season back, including picking up a win in Abu Dhabi - the famous "Leave me alone, I know what to do!" comment.

The widely reported line of "Just leave me alone, I know what I am doing" was misquoted by David Coulthard when responding to the comment.

Anyway, in Brazil, after locking up and nearly hitting title contender Sebastian Vettel at Turn 4, Raikkonen went for an excursion during the race.

Rounding Turn 12 - Juncao - he went wide and tried to rejoin the track by going across the grass and up an escape road for the support paddock - only to find the gates were locked.

Cue the Lotus then doing a 180 before rejoining the track in bizarre scenes as Raikkonen would actually go onto finish 10th and pick up a point. It was one of them sort of days, as he also had a final wheel-to-wheel battle with the retiring Michael Schumacher for good measure.

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	© XPBimages

Monaco 2017

After a dismal first season back with Ferrari in 2014 and rather mediocre performances in '15 and '16, Raikkonen burst back into life with a stunning pole lap in Monaco, nearly nine years after his last in the 2008 French Grand Prix.

He pipped team-mate Vettel, but with his title rival Hamilton down the field and out in Q2, there was little expectation on race day of a Raikkonen win, all things being equal.

As was his right, Raikkonen pitted first as race leader before Vettel, now in clear air pumped in some uber-quick times to overcut his team-mate and bank the win, with Hamilton only seventh.

Conspiracy talk was nullified as Raikkonen simply did not post good lap times on his new tyres, and he allowed Vettel to sneak through via strategy.

But of course, Raikkonen would have that last day in the sun, claiming his last victory at the 2018 United States Grand Prix, 113 starts after his last in Australia 2013 for Lotus.

It made him the only driver to ever win a Grand Prix using V10, V8 and V6 turbo hybrid engines. Bwoah.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

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