Recently, Italian blogger Leo Turrini wrote about what it was like to drive for Ferrari in his quotidiano.net blog. The 59-year old is well-known for being very close to Scuderia Ferrari and well-versed in the goings on in Maranello. In his recent article, he reflected on why Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen remain as the team’s only champions in the last 40 years.
“There is no doubt that driving the Ferrari provokes extra tension. It is an honor but it is also a burden, and nowadays everyone (but the fools) has understood that it is no coincidence that in 40 years the title with the Rossa has only been won by Schumi and Kimi.” Turrini wrote in his blog.
Ever since Michael Schumacher retired, Ferrari has had a number of high-profile drivers race for them. Namely, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, and more recently, Sebastian Vettel and Charles LeClerc. Excluding LeClerc, who is in his first season in the scarlet overalls, only one driver has managed to bring home the driver’s title and constructor’s title. Surprisingly, that man is none other than Kimi Raikkonen, who triumphed in 2007.
According to the Italian journalist, it was worth noting that Kimi Raikkonen was aware of his impending departure from Scuderia Ferrari at the end of the 2019 Formula One season. Apparently, this provided him the extra impetus to achieve some important results in a trying season for the Maranello team.
Turrini continued, with another example, “In the second half of 2009, Kimi already knew that he would have to leave his place to Fernando Alonso. Therefore, he drove only for himself and the extra personal motivation translated into special results, like his triumph in Spa and not only that. Kimi belongs to a dimension that has now disappeared. He is the natural driver, not like a battery-powered chicken, heir to a robotic culture. And a lot of people understand that. After all, you can’t be one of the few, very few kings of Spa unless you are special with a steering wheel in your hands.”
When motivated, Kimi Raikkonen can seriously work wonders with the car, as evidenced in his Lotus and now, his Alfa Romeo days. In all honesty, Kimi Raikkonen simply needs an environment devoid of politics and drama. It was an atmosphere that Ferrari simply could not provide him. With Lotus and Alfa Romeo, far away from the spotlight, Raikkonen was free to do what he did best, driving. Even when he was with McLaren, he seemed genuinely happy.