Kimi Räikkönen: No regrets

No other Formula 1 driver has competed in as many races as Kimi Räikkönen – and the 41-year-old, now in his third season with Alfa Romeo, gives no indication that he’s ready to stop. Adam Cooper caught up with the 2007 world champion to talk about his years at McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus, and why, despite the chicanery, frustration and pressure, he wouldn’t change a thing

Kimi Raikkonen in 2001

Sauber’s youthful driver at Monaco in 2001. Iceman has a contract with Alfa until the end of this season

Patrick Hertzog/AFP via Getty Images

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At the Eifel GP last year Kimi Räikkönen logged his 323rd grand prix start, breaking the record held by Rubens Barrichello. Twenty years after his rookie season the Finn will continue to extend that total in 2021, and with his 42nd birthday in October, he shows no signs of intending to stop.

He might not be racing for wins these days, but the 2007 world champion remains a firm fan favourite around the world. His deadpan ‘Iceman’ persona has always appealed, as has the humour inherent in his colourful radio conversations with the pitwall.

On his second marriage and with two young children, Räikkönen long ago reined in his partying lifestyle. But at heart he remains the same straightforward character he was when he turned the perceived wisdom about young drivers on its head, someone who above all else values loyalty and honesty in the people with whom he deals.

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