Previous F1 Teams:
- 2001 Sauber
- 2002 - 2006 McLaren
- 2007 - 2009 Ferrari
- 2012 Lotus
When Kimi joined the Sauber Formula 1 team in 2001 he was only 21 and had raced in only 23 car races in his life. But he had won more than half of them. He raced go-karts until age 19, and was Finnish champion and he also did well in the international series. He began car racing in 1999, and in 2000 he won the British Formula Renault series. He also raced in three races in European Formula Renault, winning two of them. Michael Schumacher saw him testing in the Sauber in 2000 and said that he had a bright future in Formula 1.
His Career Thus Far:
In his first year in Formula 1 Kimi proved that he had his place in the sport despite having so little experience racing cars. Even so, he finished the championship in ninth position with nine points. But his teammate, Nick Heidfeld, finished in seventh position, with 13 points.
McLaren-Mercedes nevertheless decided that Kimi was a driver for the future, and signed him up for the following year. (This was a blow to Heidfeld, who had been nurtured as a Mercedes driver for years.) In his first year at McLaren, Kimi finished sixth in the series with 24 points, compared to his teammate David Coulthard's fifth place finish in the series and 41 points. That was, however, the last time his teammate would do better than him. Raikkonen won his first race in 2003 and finished second in the championship, missing the title by two points to Schumacher. He won seven races in 2005 and again finished second in the series, but this time to Fernando Alonso. He joined Ferrari in 2007 hoping he would finally win the title at the sport's most successful team.
Raikkonen the World Champion:
The 2007 season was a four-way battle for the drivers' title between the two drivers of the McLaren Mercedes team and the two drivers of the Ferrari team. But from early in the season to the very last race, Lewis Hamilton, the rookie driver at McLaren, created the show. Kimi fell behind his teammate, Felipe Massa, for several races and looked out of the running. With two races left, Lewis spoiled his 17-point lead to score only two points, while Kimi won the two races for a perfect score, to win the drivers' title in the last race. In 2008 he won only twice.
Raikkonen took a break from Formula 1 from 2010 to 2011 and raced in rallies. He met with little success and in 2012 he returned to Formula 1, driving for the Lotus team.
Although Kimi lost the title mostly because of the unreliability of his car in 2005, he has been publicly accused of driving his cars hard. In fact, Kimi's style is marked by such an apparently superhuman and cool, incisive approach that he developed the nickname of Iceman. He is very fast on a single lap, but is also a master of fighting his way up the pack.
His cool character, light complexion and icy blue eyes also contributed to his nickname, but Kimi remains the coolest of drivers. Whether he wins a race or his car breaks down and robs him of certain victory, the Finn stays cool and detached, showing little emotion of any kind. That he is in fact human is clear in his private life from his occasional, highly-publicized blowouts at parties.