Kimi Raikkonen proved that form is temporary and class permanent when he shut down his critics and won his first Formula One race in more than five years in Austin on Sunday.
Surprise Victory for Kimi Raikkonen
As it all looked like Raikkonen was going to end his second stint with Ferrari without a Grand Prix win, the Finn drove to victory at the United States GP in his last season with Ferrari as he will be re-joining Sauber for the next two seasons.
At 39, and without a Grand Prix victory in years many people had already written off Kimi Raikkonen. The 2007 world champion was pleased to prove his doubters wrong.
“I am happy we are here and that we win, but I think the biggest difference is the way people look at you. If you look at people in a different way if they win or not, it doesn’t make a lot of difference in my mind. But obviously, I am happy.
Just proving some people wrong is enough fun for me.
Unusual Records for Kimi Raikkonen
According to Formula.com Raikkonen now holds the record for the longest gap between a first and last career win which is 15 years and 21 days since his first victory 2003 at the Malaysian Grand Prix when he was driving for McLaren.
With his win in Austin, this also makes the Finnish driver the oldest F1 winner since Nigel Mansell’s win for Williams 24 years ago at the Australian GP. Raikkonen, who is now known as the family man, said the win doesn’t change his life or make his family look at him differently
Raikkonen is not getting any younger but he is less bothered by his age. “I might be getting older but it is not too bad still. Maybe I am okay to be here a few more years. I enjoy it.”
Joining Sauber to be Closer to Family
The Ferrari driver insisted that joining Sauber is not a mistake and he is happy with where he is going. He said he wants different challenges and different things. Raikkonen wants to be close to his family and a move to Sauber where he made his F1 debut in 2001 makes it possible.
Sauber is roughly 40 minutes away from Niki Raikkonen’s home.
“For sure my family will be happy, I am happy to be with my family, I think is the best thing. I wasn’t really disappointed with the decision at any point, Raikkonen said.