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Kimi Raikkonen

The lowdown on Kimi Raikkonen

2017: 4th place. Born: 17/10/1979.

 

The oldest driver on the grid, Kimi Raikkonen will be looking to build on his strong finish to 2017, when he snatched fourth place in the drivers' standings from Daniel Ricciardo.

Despite winning pole position at Monaco – his first in 129 races – the 2007 world champion acknowledged it wasn’t a great season, though an improvement on sixth overall in 2016.

He was frustrated to be runner-up in Monaco behind Sebastian Vettel after being out-pitted by his team-mate, and helped another Ferrari 1-2 in Hungary.

Vettel agreed a new contract until 2020, and the Finn was given another season in his second spell with the Italian marque – though he was warned by team bosses it could be his last chance at Maranello.

By most accounts they are a happy driver partnership, despite some instances of team preference and the crash in Singapore last year which ended the German’s race and helped Lewis Hamilton go 28 points clear.

Raikkonen, though happy to grumble at his race engineer “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing” as he famously did while at Lotus, is known for his cool unflappability. He’s not called the Iceman for nothing.

He prefers to let his driving do the talking, and has won legions of fans for his irreverent behaviour – such as eating an ice cream during a rain break in Malaysia, watching a curtailed Monaco race from his yacht, and being asleep half an hour before his F1 debut in 2001.

Raikkonen soon earned a move to McLaren, winning for the first time in 2003 as he chased Michael Schumacher for the title all the way to the final round in Suzuka, and with better reliability he could have been champion in 2005.

A switch to Ferrari for 2007 finally secured him that elusive title, but he drifted out of F1 at the end of 2009 to try rallying.

He returned to F1 with the rebranded Lotus team in 2012, taking popular wins at Abu Dhabi and then Australia the following year, but has struggled for consistency since returning to Ferrari.