Kimi Raikkonen, generation Ice Man Jr

Columns: Special
This well-known face of Formula 1 certainly needs no introduction. With a gaze to the future and one to the past, Kimi Raikkonen narrates the first steps of young Robin and beyond!

The complete interview is present on Vroom of April but below we report a small excerpt of our chat with Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn is returning to karting thanks to his son Robin, the heir of the Raikkonen house who seems to already appreciate motorsport... and then who knows if in the next few years we will find Kimi of the international paddocks!
- Kimi, you were a kart driver first of all, after so many years what changes have you noticed?
«Honestly, I haven't been involved with go-karts, apart from now with Robin, and I had ridden many, let's say, the rental karts over the years for work purposes. But I haven't really done anything else or been at the races. The thing that I noticed is there are more starter engines and more electronics and I think in many ways it's good because it's more helpful, easier than to start push for them. We used to push start them and for kids presently, if they test run, they can start the car themselves, it's easier, but on the other side, it's a bit more complicated as more things can go wrong, but that's how it is».

- In your opinion as a Formula 1 driver, how important do you think it is for a young driver to start training with go karts?
«For sure, it's not necessary. I think these days you can do so many different things, but I think most Formula 1 drivers have done go-kart at some point. I don't know if you need to do it at, I don't know, 3 or 5 years old. I started, I think, at seven or something. I suppose at this stage people start a bit earlier, but even if nothing else comes out of it, I think it's a good hobby and you learn to drive go-karts. One day you're going to get your driving license; at least you know how to drive already, so either way it's a good hobby even if nothing else comes out of it». 

- We have seen that Robin is learning this discipline. What is the first thing you tried to teach them?
«Just enjoy it obviously and be careful and you need to think a bit that you don't do anything crazy and know where to brake and control, that's the first thing. We practice a lot with motocross bikes and it didn't take him not a long time but I wanted him to know how to brake and drive slowly on motocross bikes and obviously he was first with stabilizers and then we took the stabilizers out. After learning the motocross bike, I wasn't really worried that he wouldn't know how to be careful with the go-kart. It was a bit easier for me and my wife to trust that he knows what he does, but now it's time to enjoy it. I don't really teach him apart from that, and it doesn't matter for me that he drives in his own life, so whatever he does, it's fine as long as he enjoys it».

- Some of your colleagues have opened their own brand in karting, do you think you could do the same in the future or do you want to focus first on Robin's possible career?
«No, I've been asked many many years ago about it but I never really had so much interest in it. Now... to focus on Robin's career... It's too early to say if he would like to race or not, but if he enjoys it and he wants to race in the future, I will try to help as much as possible, but we'll see in the future what happens».

Created by: scorradengo - 29/05/20

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