Kimi one of few Binotto called a friend in F1 paddock

Mattia Binotto has said Kimi Raikkonen is one of the only people he can call a friend in Formula 1, and he will be roundly missed in the paddock.

Kimi one of few Binotto called a friend in F1 paddock

Kimi one of few Binotto called a friend in F1 paddock

The Ferrari team principal has known and worked with the 2007 World Champion, who retired from the sport at the end of 2021 after a record 349 grand prix starts.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi, Binotto praised how the Finn performed throughout his career and added that his personality makes him a “good driver but also a great guy”.

“I’ve known Kimi for a long time now, I think more than 14 years,” the Ferrari team principal said, as per Speedweek.

“He has always been a fantastic and very fast driver. And I think he is still fast today. On top of that, though, he’s also a great guy.

“He is one of the few in the paddock that I count as a friend, because Kimi can always be trusted. He is very respectful, even if he doesn’t say much.

“But his behaviour shows that he is a great person. That’s why the whole paddock will miss him, not only because he’s a good driver but also a great guy.”

Fernando Alonso spent the majority of his career racing against the Finn, having had plenty of on-track battles against him in the past near-two decades and been around him in the paddock in that time.

He said that most people haven’t seen the off-camera version of Raikkonen, and agrees with Binotto’s sentiment that he is a fundamentally honest person who can speak frankly and laugh about the state of things on and off track – going against the ‘Iceman’ nickname long associated with him.

“We will miss Kimi. I have come to know him as fundamentally honest, a man who dispenses with all gimmicks. What you see or what he says is business and done; no games,” said the two-time World Champion.

 

“To some people he may have seemed cool or taciturn, but there was always a completely different person slumbering inside him, not at all the Iceman.

“On the contrary, Raikkonen is a warm-hearted person, but it’s probably the case that you could only get to know the real Kimi away from the race tracks.”

 

 

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