As ‘new Kimi’ tests F1, Raikkonen’s son also on F1 road

Thu, 18 April 2024, 10:00

Apr.18 (GMM) As a ‘new Kimi’ makes his way to Formula 1, there seems little doubt that a ‘new Raikkonen’ also seems destined for the top category of motor racing.

At the Red Bull Ring in Austria this week, Andrea ‘Kimi’ Antonelli – a teenage protege of Toto Wolff who is in the running for Lewis Hamilton’s race seat in 2025 – got his first taste of F1 machinery.

The Italian, whose nickname is a tribute to 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen, he was at the wheel of the title-winning 2021 Mercedes, declaring afterwards: “I loved every second of it.”

Even younger than this ‘new Kimi’, however, is ‘Raikkonen junior’ – 9-year-old Robin Raikkonen, the son of the famous former Ferrari and McLaren driver.

Young Robin is already well on the way in his international karting journey.

“I think Kimi (Raikkonen) is proceeding very sensibly with Robin,” family friend and racing driver Toni Vilander, now a F1 pundit for Viaplay, told Iltalehti newpaper.

“Compared to our day, the biggest change is that everything happens at a much younger age,” he said. “By the age of 10, you already need experience in Italy now.

“The family is doing everything very cleverly. They post Robin’s results a little later, so that not everyone knows what they’re doing.”

Former Finnish Formula 1 driver Mika Salo thinks Robin is likely to be on the F1 grid some day.

“Obviously we have to remember that he’s still a child,” said the former Ferrari and Toyota driver, “so it’s completely premature to predict what will happen in the future.

“But I’ve calculated that the entire journey from karting to Formula 1 costs about 10 million euros. And as we know, Kimi has money but also exceptionally strong contacts and an excellent reputation.”

Indeed, the very young Raikkonen already drives for the CRG team – famous in motor racing circles for also once housing Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

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