300 times Kimi
300. Few drivers in the history of Formula One have ever reached such heady heights in terms of race entries, and next weekend will mark this important milestone for our very own Kimi Räikkönen. Yes, he had to be told. “DRIVING IS THE ONLY THING I LIKE ABOUT F1”, the Iceman famously said, so it’s safe to say numbers do not mean a lot to him. Do not expect a commemorative helmet, either. “IT PROTECTS MY HEAD”, that is all it does – how to disagree? And were Formula One to organise a special commemoration on the grid before the race, well, we can only hope it doesn’t clash with Kimi’s loo break…
HE IS NOT HERE TO PLEASE PEOPLE, HE’S HERE TO DO HIS BEST.
From his debut (in a Sauber) in Australia 2001, Kimi Räikkönen has gone on to become one of Formula One’s iconic characters. A winner of 21 races, he may claim 19 years in the sport (with a brief, two-year hiatus) didn’t change him… truth is, they have. The fresh-faced boy who rocked up in Melbourne nearly two decades ago, almost missing his first race start as he was having a nap in the garage, is now a World Champion and a proud family man, husband to Minttu and father to Robin and Rianna. Professionally, he’s enjoying his driving at Alfa Romeo Racing as a relaxed, happy driver doing what he does best.
Time and experience change people. But the core Kimi, that never changes. For sure, we will never try to do so – to try and change Kimi to fit a mould is a futile exercise.
WE JUST LEAVE HIM ALONE. HE KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOING.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing and CEO Sauber Motorsport AG: “The tests last week In Barcelona have been promising and I am sure that we’re back on track and going in the right direction again. It’s interesting to see how the teams battling for the midfield positions hardly get any consistency into their performance. Each track is a new start – especially getting the tyres to work – and sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong. We have our downward blip behind us and going strong into the Monaco weekend.”
Kimi Räikkönen (car number 7): “Everyone is talking about my 300th race, but I’m more interested in our performance. The test in Barcelona was important for us to understand our problems better, but I honestly don’t know how good our car fits to the street course in Monaco.”
Antonio Giovinazzi (car number 99): “Last week I was invited by Alfa Romeo to the 1000 Mille Miglia and it reminded me of Alfa’s incredible passion for cars and motorsport, especially as an Italian driver. Unfortunately, my start of the season with Alfa Romeo Racing was not as expected, but I’ll stay focused and I’ll work hard and I’m sure that things will turn around and success will come – hopefully already in Monaco.”
Media contact Alfa Romeo:
About Alfa Romeo brand:
Since its founding in Milan, Italy, in 1910, Alfa Romeo has designed and crafted some of the most stylish and exclusive cars in automotive history. That tradition lives on today as Alfa Romeo continues to take a unique and innovative approach to designing automobiles.
In every Alfa Romeo, technology and passion converge to produce a true work of art – every detail essential, every design the perfect harmony between beauty and purpose, engineering and emotion. Fully reviving Alfa Romeo’s spirit and maximizing its global appeal has been one of FCA’s priorities. Following a clear and well-defined strategy, Alfa Romeo is writing a new chapter in its more than century-long history that represents an extraordinary opportunity to realize the brand’s full potential. Today, Alfa Romeo is a true showcase of the Group’s best resources, talent and technological know-how. First with the Giulia, and more recently with the Stelvio, Alfa Romeo has created two models that capture the pure and original spirit of the brand – that instantly recognizable thoroughbred character. These models are testament to Alfa Romeo’s La meccanica delle emozioni spirit and quintessential examples of what people have come to expect from this prestigious brand. Alfa Romeo is winning the hearts of a new generation and retaking its rightful position as one of the world’s most desired premium brands. It is, once again, one of the leading symbols of Italian engineering and style, an icon of Italy’s technological excellence and creative spirit. After more than 30 years of absence from Formula One, the brand announced its return to the sport in 2018 as Title Sponsor of the Sauber F1 Team.
About Sauber Group of Companies:
The Sauber Group of Companies is composed of three entities – Sauber Motorsport AG, which operates the Formula One team – Sauber Engineering AG, which focuses on prototype development and additive manufacturing – and Sauber Aerodynamik AG, which conducts full- and model-scale testing in the factory’s state-of-the-art wind tunnel and creates ground-breaking innovations in the field of aerodynamics. The companies collaborate closely to apply the expertise of over 450 dedicated individuals at the headquarter in Hinwil, Switzerland, to all internal and external projects.
Since its founding in 1970, the passion for racing has been at the heart of Sauber. For over 45 years, the innovative Swiss company has been setting standards in the design, development and construction of race cars for various championship series, such as Formula One, DTM, and WEC. Following its own Formula One debut in 1993, Sauber Motorsport AG has established one of the few traditional and privately held teams in the sport. After 25 years of competition in Formula One, the company launched a long-term partnership with Title Sponsor Alfa Romeo in 2018 and enters the 2019 championship under the Team name Alfa Romeo Racing.