Kimi-Matias Kimi Räikkönen was born in Finland, on 17 October 1979, with racing in his blood. His career started at the age of 10 when he successfully raced karts, and in 1998 won the Nordic Karting Championship. He went on to compete in the Formula Ford Euro Cup and came second in the European Formula Super A Championship.
At 20, Kimi lifted the trophy as Champion of the British Formula Renault winter series, and in the following two seasons won an impressive 13 out of 23 Formula Renault UK Championship races.
A year later he got his first taste of Formula 1, testing for Sauber at Ferrari’s Mugello circuit (the car also had a Ferrari engine). Ferrari signed Kimi up to race for them the very next season. With only 23 official races on his CV, some doubted the decision to grant an F1 Super Licence to the Finn. But in 2001, at the Australian Grand Prix, Kimi lined up on the starting grid – the first race of his impressive maiden F1 season in which he accumulated nine Championship points.
The following season, Kimi signed for McLaren where he replaced another Finn, Mika Hakkinen. During his five years with McLaren, Kimi finished 6th, 2nd, 7th, 2nd, and 5th.
Kimi took his seat at Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro in 2007 and went on to win his first F1 World Championship driver’s title with 110 points at Sao Paulo – the final race of the season. The 2008 season saw Kimi taking two race victories and playing a key role in helping Scuderia Ferrari win the Constructor’s title.
He left the Scuderia at the end of 2009, spending 2010 and 2011 competing in the World Rally Championship and NASCAR. He then returned to Formula 1 with Lotus in 2012, where he spent two seasons. He rejoined the Scuderia in 2014, finishing eleventh in that year’s championship, while in 2015 he was fourth.