Kimi-Matias Räikkönen (Finnish pronunciation: [ˈkimi ˈmɑtiɑs ˈræikːønen]; born 17 October 1979), nicknamed "Iceman", is a Finnish racing driver currently driving in Formula One for Alfa Romeo Racing. He won the 2007 Formula One World Championship in his first season at Scuderia Ferrari. After nine seasons racing in Formula One he left the sport to compete in the World Rally Championship in 2010 and 2011, returning to Formula One from 2012. In addition to this title, Räikkönen also finished second overall in 2003 and 2005, and third in 2008, 2012 and 2018. Räikkönen has won 21 Grands Prix, making him the most successful Finnish driver in terms of Formula One race wins. He is the only driver to take a race win in the V10, V8 and the hybrid V6 engine eras.
Räikkönen entered Formula One as a regular driver for Sauber-Petronas in 2001, having competed in only 23 car races previously. He joined McLaren Mercedes in 2002, and became a title contender by finishing runner-up in the championship to Michael Schumacher in 2003, and Fernando Alonso in 2005. Räikkönen's 2002, 2004 and 2006 seasons were plagued by severe unreliability from his McLaren cars, prompting a move to Ferrari in 2007. This change saw him crowned Formula One World Drivers' Champion that season, pipping both McLaren drivers–Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso–to the title by just one point. In 2008 he equalled the record for the greatest number of fastest laps in a season for the second time.
Räikkönen left both Scuderia Ferrari and the sport after the 2009 season, his sole victory that year having come in that season's Belgian Grand Prix due to driving an uncompetitive Ferrari F60. On his return to Formula One, Räikkönen drove for Lotus in 2012 and 2013, scoring the team's only victories. On 11 September 2013, Ferrari announced his re-signing on a two-year contract, beginning in the 2014 season. This contract was subsequently extended until the end of the 2018 season. Räikkönen then scored 26 podiums and two pole positions, but endured more than four winless years after rejoining Ferrari before winning the 2018 United States Grand Prix, after 113 Grands Prix and nine years since his last Ferrari victory from his first stint with the team. In spite of the long winless streak, Räikkönen finished among the top four overall in the championship on multiple occasions during his second Ferrari stint. Räikkönen finished his total eight-year long Ferrari career with a third place in the 2018 championship.
In September 2018 Ferrari announced that Räikkönen would leave at the end of the season, followed shortly by an announcement from Ferrari-affiliated Sauber Alfa Romeo stating that Räikkönen had been signed on a two-year contract for 2019 and 2020, with Sauber's rookie Charles Leclerc switching to Ferrari in his place.
In the World Rally Championship, Räikkönen drove a Citroën C4 WRC for the Citroën Junior Team in 2010, and a Citroën DS3 WRC for ICE 1 Racing in 2011. His stint in the WRC saw him beat some more experienced rally drivers with a best result of fifth, a stage win and 10th in the championship in both seasons. Concurrently, Räikkönen also competed in NASCAR, and made his debut for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series.
Forbes magazine listed Räikkönen 36th in their 2008 'Celebrity 100' as the 26th highest paid celebrity and fifth highest paid sportsman. The same list in 2009 recorded him as the second highest-paid athlete. Read more...