“I Just Take My Backpack and Go” – Kimi Raikkonen Divulges on His F1 Debut

Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso might have followed a similar trajectory in their F1 careers, but their personalities are poles apart. While Alonso is aggressive, volatile, and combative, Kimi is ice-cool and straightforward.

The same also reflected in their attitudes towards their F1 debuts, which, coincidentally, they made at the same time – at the 2001 Australian Grand Prix in 2001, for Minardi and Sauber, respectively.

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I don’t worry about it as it’s a bit pointless [to worry]: Kimi Raikkonen

Speaking to Motorsport Week, Raikkonen mentioned he felt the difference between moving from Formula Renault to F1 but did not worry about it too much.

“Obviously [Formula 1 is] another race, but obviously it was a lot different from what I was used to from Formula Renault,” Kimi said.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 29, 2021, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen during a press conference ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix Pool via REUTERS/Florián Goga

“It is a new format. You had to get used to the starts, all kinds of things–new tracks, new country, and everything. But I’ve never been worried too much. I just take my backpack and go and see what comes out!

:That’s what I usually do and I don’t worry about it as it’s a bit pointless [to worry].” said Raikkonen.

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It was a shock always when you arrive into Formula 1: Fernando Alonso

Alonso’s experience greatly differed from that of Kimi’s. Finding out about the intensity of the sport came as a shock to 19-year-old Fernando, who felt that his desire to be a world champion in the future was just “an optimistic dream.”

“It was a shock always when you arrive into Formula 1, as there are many differences compared to the younger categories,” said Alonso.

Formula One F1 – Austrian Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – July 1, 2021, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

You have to get used to the media, the attention, the demanding schedule in the weekend, the level of technology, and [work] with the engineers. [Being] 19 years old, being the first time there, it was a shock for sure.

“I thought that Formula 1 was not my place, probably. I was coming from a tiny town in Spain, with no Formula 1 background or anything. Wanted to be World Champion one day and to achieve the maximum, but it was like a very optimistic dream.” said Alonso.

However different their approaches might’ve been, both Kimi and Alonso proved themselves in the world of Formula 1. While Kimi has one drivers’ title under his belt, Alonso is a two-time world champion and has now returned for more after a two-year break.

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