Thursday, October 25, 2007

(The Iceman Cometh

(The Kimster - SMILING! WTF? Source:

Having watched the Brazilian Grand Prix race replay Wednesday morning while awaiting delivery of multiple copies of the most recent F1 and Champ Car races from Captain Kirk, I was gleefully overjoyed to watch Kimi Raikkonen UNEXPECTEDLY claim his very first F1 Driver’s World Championship!

And although you’ll possibly surmise that I’m simply jumping upon the Kimster bandwagon, I can assure you that I’ve been a zealous fan of the Iceman since first bursting upon the scene in 2001.

Although at that time I was still a reverent Michael Schumacher supporter, yet was drawn to the Iceman’s abilities as I’d done so a previous decade earlier with the arrival of a young German driver’s debut at Jordan Grand Prix during the Belgian GP weekend.

Although undoubtedly one of the best racing drivers I’ve ever seen behind the wheel, my dedication to Herr Schumacher seemed to wane in his final seasons after witnessing him break Juan Manuel Fangio’s insurmountable five Formula 1 Driver’s World Championships… As I seem to be drawn to aspiring new talents seeking to upset the apple cart of the F1 driver hierarchy.

So it was funny how I was captivated by the passing of the Finnish torch that late autumn day at Indianapolis, as Mika Hakkinen would score his very final Grand Prix victory while the rookie Raikkonen retired his Sauber upon crashing on lap two.

Recall that Kimi’s arrival in Formula 1 was greeted with much skepticism, having only contested a total of 23 car races prior to being reluctantly granted a FIA Super License under the auspices of a four race probationary period.

Peter Sauber’s defiant hiring of the young Finn also caused much unrest between his then primary backer, none other than the Barron “Deeter Majestic” (Red Bull) whom was adamant against the Kimster’s employment in favour of his “hired gun,” Enrique Bernoldi. As Barron Deeter wished to see the Sauber test driver promoted to race driver status for the upcoming season.

Yet Sauber’s decision to choose the unknown Finn over Bernoldi ultimately saw his primary sponsor (Red Bull) sell its team shares to Credit Suiss, with Bernoldi landing a race seat at Arrows Grand Prix alongside Jos “The BOSS” Verstappen…

Does anybody remember this Brazilian driver? Whose greatest achievement in F1 was holding up McLaren’s David Coulthard for over 30+ laps in the “Hunga-Boring” race.

Meanwhile Raikkonen and teammate “Quick Nick” Heidfeld gave Peter Sauber his best Constructor’s results, finishing fourth overall, while Heidfeld out qualified Raikkonen 10-7 that season. Ironically Heidfeld was a contracted Mercedes Benz driver hired out to Sauber, while the Kimster would be picked as Mika Hakkinen’s replacement at McLaren-Mercedes in 2002.

And I recall watching Kimi potentially loose the driver’s crown in his sophomore season to Herr Schumacher, who pinched the Iceman off track after he’d encountered some “slippery liquids” on track while leading, thus allowing Schumacher to capture his fifth driver’s crown upon winning at Magny Cours.

But Kimi was a quick study, as I recall seeing him perform the same cut-throat maneuver on Juan Pablo Montoya the following year at the same French track enroute to his maiden Grand Prix victory!

And as David Hobbs would claim upon an amazing bonsai qualifying lap, the Kimster NEVER lifted while hurtling into a wall of black engine smoke from the previous car’s engine going “Kablamoe!” Thus causing “Hobbo” to exclaim that Raikkonen has some seriously large attachments…

And I’d have to say one of my favourite maneuvers of the Kimster was his electrifying outside pass of Giancarlo Fisichella on the very last lap of the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix. Seeing Kimi steal the victory from a totally gutted “Fishy Fella.” This along with Raikkonen unexpectedly jumping onto a friend’s yacht in the Monaco harbour and reportedly falling off the ship later upon sipping some Don Perryton…

And the Iceman has always been quick; hell I believe he’s the quickest “shue” in formula 1… Although Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa may disagree…

And upon becoming the dark horse candidate for the driver’s title with the emergence of McLaren’s “Ferdi & Louise” show, Raikkonen never gave up and scored six victories enroute to his maiden World Champion driver’s crown…

Talk about your ultimate birthday present, as the Kimster turned 28 on October 17th. With the cameras repeatedly focusing upon ex-double World Champion Mika Hakinen on hand to witness his protégé’s unbelievable triumph, makes you wonder if Kimi will invite Mika to his celebration party? Of course Hakkinen does have easy access to an unlimited supply of Johnny Walker…

Congratulations, Kimi!