Alfa Romeo Racing’s Kimi Raikkonen looks at the family side of his life, amid the grueling F1 schedule, which has become a lot easier ever since the switch from Ferrari.
Despite the ‘Iceman’ persona that he portrays, Alfa Romeo’s Raikkonen is perhaps the most layered driver on the 2020 F1 grid. This is because he has one thing that most others of the paddock don’t: a family with kids at home.
Evidently, this factors into every decision Raikkonen makes in his career, and this is something that the Finn addressed in an interview with the F1 website, as he detailed the changes to his life that children and marriage have brought since the days of the shirtless-on-a-yacht-post-retirement-at-Monaco.
“Life changes automatically when you have kids,” said Raikkonen. “My life is busier in many ways – and it’s a good thing. You have to plan a bit more. I have a schedule from the team so that dictates a lot the life these days, but we try to do a lot of things as a family where we can. Some days, it’s not always easy, but that’s life.”
His most significant related career change of late was his move from Ferrari to Alfa Romeo – something partially brought on by the rise of young star Charles Leclerc, but also his desire to be based closer to home, which he admitted to several times.
“It helps a lot [to be at Hinwil],” said Raikkonen. “When you have to go to do some things for the team, you don’t have to leave the country. You’re there in 40 minutes, do what you need to do, and then you’re back early afternoon. You save a few hours here and there, but over the year, it starts to be a long time.
When he’s not at Hinwil, you’ll likely catch Raikkonen at home with his children, or perhaps, at the karting track watching his son Robin, who picked up the activity some time ago and has since done it non-competitive manner.
“Robin asked last summer for quite a long time, he wanted to try a go-kart,” said Raikkonen. “We took him once, and since we’ve been 10 times altogether. So not very much. He really likes it. For me, as long as he enjoys it, we’ll do it. He also spoke on his self restrain in the context of giving advice to his son.
Instead of micro-managing his offspring’s driving, Raikkonen lets his son enjoy the driving. “We took him once, and since we’ve been 10 times altogether,” he said. “So not very much. He really likes it. For me, as long as he enjoys it, we’ll do it.
“I don’t tell him where to drive, or take any lap times. It’s about him enjoying it. If he does one lap and says he doesn’t want to do it, we go home. Last time before testing he did 50 minutes altogether. Some days, after a few laps he says ‘I want to do something else!’ It’s a good hobby.
“I don’t look at it that way, if he’s good or bad. Is he good? I don’t know. He’s just turned five. If he enjoys it and wants to do it in three/four years, maybe we’ll look differently. But right now, I’m just happy if he likes something.
“He likes doing that riding, that’s what he rode already two years ago, a motocross bike. I think it’s nice he wants to try different things and learn. When they are older, at least they know how a car works or a bike works. So in the future, in their life, it’s much safer if they want to ride bikes,” summed up, Raikkonen.
The Alfa Romeo F1 driver is also surprisingly, or perhaps unsurprisingly given his psyche, isn’t too bothered by the ever-present dangers that his son could encounter on this path. “In some weird way, I trust him,” said Raikkonen.
“In motocross, it took many months practising braking and throttle, going very slowly. Now he goes full speed on it! So far, nothing has happened. I think the problem is, I can see a lot of things, if you go off here or if you crash there it’s not good, that’s maybe why sometimes I feel more nervous – I wouldn’t say scared.
“If I didn’t know, it would be much easier! I think too much – I think if something goes wrong, hopefully he doesn’t go that way! But it’s been OK. I always say be careful. And he is careful. Rianna is similar to Robin,” added Raikkonen of his other child.
“Obviously when kids are a bit younger they try to copy everything their brother or sister does.She’s very stubborn. She’s always saying when she gets a bit older, she will be driving Robin’s go-kart. Right now she drives electric quadbikes and stuff. She likes a lot of normal things girls like also. She gives Robin a hard time sometimes. It’s mayhem sometimes.
“I have always liked to fix things. When I was young, we were allowed to do a lot of things, cutting bicycles into parts and building them back together. I would like to do a lot more, but time is more limited. The go-kart is nice to fix, but they are a bit too reliable these days,” summed up, Raikkonen.
— Kimi Räikkönen Fans (@iceman7news) June 16, 2020
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