Kimi Raikkonen has spoken about his favourite car and time period of Formula 1, with plenty of years to look back on as the Finn marks two full decades of racing at the top level of motorsport.
Having made his debut in Formula 1 in 2001, Raikkonen put in long stints with McLaren and Ferrari and multiple championship challenges and spoke exclusive to RacingNews365.com in Hungary about his favourites. Unsurprisingly, he highlighted the car he won the World Championship with as being a particular favourite.
"It was either the Ferrari that we won, , yeah," he said.
"Or the McLaren in 2005, end of 2004. In 2006, the car was actually very good, but the engine wasn't good enough obviously. But I think those Michelin tyres, when you could kind of pick and choose what you want, that was obviously nice.
"Everyone could have their own wishes and there was some nice battles."
With Formula 1 evolving over the course of Raikkonen's lengthy career, he said that it's only the details of the sport that have changed and believes the driving aspect remains pretty much the same as two decades ago.
"There's more people, bigger motorhomes, bigger factories, all these things, it's more... all the small details matter much more now than when I started," he explained.
"But I think the driving part hasn't really changed that much. Even the rules have changed, some cars feel faster, some slower because the rule changes from year to year but, honestly, if it's a five seconds difference, you don't really feel it.
"It's a lot on the watch but, when you go around, it's like the same qualifying to race. You don't push that much because we are full tanks but it doesn't change the lap.
"Obviously in the earlier days, maybe the racing itself was a bit more fair. And if somebody was there, you didn't push him off. Sometimes yes, but that was very different."
But Raikkonen couldn't be drawn on whether he feels Formula 1 in 2021 is better today, or back in the 'ballistic missile' days of floaty cars with 3.0-litre V10s that he spent his formative years of F1 learning.
"The cars are very big but because you go from year to year you lose the reference," he said.
"Now if we go and drive a mid-2000s car or whatever, they'd feel a lot different for sure.
"But if I said, 'They were a lot different', I would bulls**t because your memory plays games. So I don't know was it better then or is it better now."