I was sure it could be a good project, followed my instincts and approached his management for the first time in 2011, although at first I didn’t hear anything back. I knew other writers and publishers had approached Kimi about doing a book, so I thought maybe I wouldn’t ever get the chance, but in March 2017 I was very pleased to receive a call from Sami Visa at Kimi’s management company.
He explained that they wanted to publish an authorised Kimi biography and were searching for an established writer who worked outside the sport, to avoid any preconceptions, so I fitted the bill. There are many other writers like me in Finland, though, so I’m not really sure why I was chosen. In the beginning I told Kimi I knew nothing about F1 but that I did know something about human beings, so perhaps that’s why he was happy to work with me. I got along very well straight away with him and Sami, so things progressed quickly. Kimi certainly hadn’t read any of my work before – I was totally unknown to him.
I realised immediately that Kimi came from a different planet to mine, but he surprised me completely. Although he often appears shy and introverted he is at the same time a funny guy, a dedicated family man and actually quite talkative away from the Formula 1 environment.
One thing that struck me – and became quite an important element of the project – was Kimi’s vocabulary. The two words he used most frequently were ‘loyalty’ and ‘truth’, which I think tells you something about him.