Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kimi Räikkönen is a king - "he can buy the Guggenheim-museum into his garage if he wants to

F1-season's first GP takes place on Sunday morning. Urheilulehti's editor Esko Seppänen dedicates his column to motorsport for the first time.

I guess I have to admit it.

I follow F1 from MTV3 MAX.

Hence I don't practice ”place your political party's book in the middle of a porn magazine so that nobody sees it" -kind of hiding, I follow F1 completely in the open and without any shame after a sabbatical of 13 years.


I don't understand a thing about the genre.

Actually I don't even understand why it's allowed to even glorify and practice a circus like that in year 2012 when the oil barrel is empty and gasoline costs over 10 FIM per liter.

A F1-car uses during one lap about 4 liters of fuel and they drive quite many laps during the season. Actually I'm quite sure that the team's private jets are the kind where you can hold the cars running, tyres warm and KERS hot. That way you can get the consumption into new records when driving inside an airplane that is up in the air.

But that's not the point of this column, to sum it up in two words it's Kimi Räikkönen.

I returned back to F1-broadcasting just because I think that Kimi is:

A) This nation's only really big player in the scale of the whole world.


B) A great man.


Kimi is the greatest of all men firstly because he has mastered one thing better than any other Finnish sportsman has mastered during his whole career.

Kimi has said the word "no" often enough - always depending upon the situation.

He has never sold himself too cheap, instead he has negotiated the most juiciest driver-contracts in F1-business into his own pockets. At Ferrari he earned at best 41,5 million euros per year. Now he earns - straight after playing with rally and partying with the Duudsons - about 12 million euros according to reports. Salary drop? Perhaps. But one thing is sure, nobody else could have come out of the woods and got himself a similar cardboard like Kimi did.

Kimi also could say ”no” to MTV3. They had some kind of an agreement that Kimi would give MTV3 all his most important interviews quickly, efficiently and in a good co-operation.

Shit, Kimi thought.

They didn't get him to get interested at all about what others think of him. If he isn't interested in chatting, then he doesn't chat - no, not even if the contract had these and those kind of flourishing phrases. Because of this MTV3 put later on all their eggs in the same basket with Heikki Kovalainen.


Yeah, Heikki.

He doesn't even have an ounce of the attraction that would make me wake up in the middle of the night to watch cars driving somewhere in the Australian coast. Heikki's sportman's personality doesn't offer even one reason for this. He has been forced into a mold. He can smile when asked. He can say the right words in the commercials. I can't say anything about driver-Heikki. I can only look at the statistics to see that he has won 1 out of his 90 races. Hence the winning percentage is 1,11.

When thinking of that I think Heikki has everything just a little bit too well. Or is Heikki this positive only in the media? What is he really like as a racing sportsman?

No clue. I have never been closer to a F1-paddock more than 300 km.


But I'm sure of this thing: In a similar situation Kimi would be filled with fire and fierce. He would stuck the double diffuser down the mechanic's throat if things wouldn't start to go forward. He would do his everything for a victory and also show it outwards genuinely.

And that's why there's that something in Kimi.

Yet he is all the time barked at and belittled.


(Well think for a moment why....)

Answer: Envy!

Envy is more common in Finland than gum infection.

Let's go through the reasons why it's too easy to be envious of Kimi.

1. It's easy for academical people to point the finger at Kimi saying "what has that brat even achieved". He can't even speak English or praise his home country in interviews.

2. Sport people might say that F1-cruising isn't a sport or that Kimi won his WDC only because others sensationally screwed up their last races.

3. Kimi is one hell of a rich man. He buys toys that the rest of us even can't draw. He goes to parties that we never see pictures of. He lives a life that for the rest of us is a movie.


Let's take a closer look at money.

I will bring some more perspective about the amount of euros that Kimi has DESERVED/EARNED.

Not out of pity, not in vain, because of his work and based upon his contract.

A) As I stated Kimi earned according to reports about 41,5 million euros during his Ferrari-season. Kimi would only have to work 3,5 years more and then he could buy the Guggenheim-museum to his car garage, the museum that is planned to be built in Helsinki..

B) Kimi could buy with this year's salary a new iPad to each person living in Hamina.

C) Kimi could with his earning buy ridiculously overpriced WC-tickets from Kalervo Kummola to the Leijona-games, all and all 77.419 by the cheapest price category. This means six (6) sold out Hartwall Arenas. Maybe Kimi should call Kalervo? Then again, these really rich people don't have to pay for their WC-tickets. I guess they still have on Areena's yard an own parking space for Räikkönen's VIP-visits. I won't even start.... (quick sigh...)

D) URHOtv raised prices when it was time for the final games. 15 euros per net-broadcasting sounds like a hard price. Kimi could watch 800.000 games from URHOtv in a row with his salary. Advice to Kimi: don't watch. They are playing out of pity at the moment. The real games begin next Thursday.

E) Kimi earns during one day the same amount an average Finn earns during one year.


I have sometimes tried to be envious of Kimi. Or at least tried to undermine his achievements.

I have cursed how this car mechanic has the balls to attend a wedding wearing jeans.

Fortunately I quickly realized what it is about Kimi that is really enviable.

He has the guts to be himself in the world's brightest spotlight. If he was taking a shit and didn't because of that go to some celebration, then he also has the guts to say it out loud. Whether it's socially acceptable or not. That doesn't interest Kimi.

Kimi is not paid to have his back washed in the name of journalism, he is paid to win WC-points to his team.

I guess that you or me could not turn your back to everything else except racing when you are surrounded by all the treats in the world. Could you be able not to jump to the tune of PR-people or lick to the tune of every possible sponsor? I doubt.

Kimi has balls to be:

A) poorly educated

B) nonacademic

C) blurting

D) his own trade school -self under the toughest imaginable pressure.

He doesn't bow to anything else except winning. He came back to F1 because he wants to race with the dude beside him. Kimi wants to eat his enemy alive.

It doesn't fascinate me that Kimi has money. Nor does the fact that he has sometimes won the WC-belt either.

What is intriguing here and now is the hunger for victory.


Nothing else than Kimi's absolute genuinity opens up my tv at dawn on Sunday. There was a time when F1 became some sort of a substitute of a church for Finns. The mandatory confession by the altar of commercial money, Matti Kyllönen (commentator), Mika Häkkinen, motor noise and most and foremost the Finnish success.

For myself the F1-circus is something a lot more simpler. It's the same as Kimi Räikkönen.

Kimi is like the fishing buddy from earlier years, someone with who it was fun to go and fish once in a month in the nearby creek.

And now when this same dude gets with the same spinners the ocean's biggest catch, should we here in the land of small puddles really turn envious?

Or could we admit out loud that after all Kimi is one of us - with the only difference that he has balls to be himself other than when he is drunk?

Kimi doesn't explain, hem and haw.

His work is to drive a F1-car on Sundays, he doesn't do it for free and the only justification to step in the cockpit is victory.

Because of this reason Kimi has placed F1 back on my sport map.

Courtesy of mikael and Nicole

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