With the culmination of the Singapore Grand Prix, F1 veteran Kimi Raikkonen reached a milestone. In his nearly 16-year long F1 career, Raikkonen has certainly clocked in the mileage. The Finn made his F1 debut back in 2001 along with Fernando Alonso. At that time, Raikkonen was driving for Sauber and Alonso was with Minardi. Joining them that year, was Colombian rookie Juan Pablo Montoya. Now, in 2018, He has reached a milestone for Ferrari, namely scoring more than a 1000 points for them.
Raikkonen’s debut was somewhat controversial because of his inexperience. Former team boss and founder, Peter Sauber handpicked the virtually unknown Finn from the British Formula Renault series. The then 20-year old had been dominating the championship and won by more than 50 points.
In his debut season, he scored a best finish of 4th on two occasions and finished tenth in the championship. In 2002, he moved to West Mclaren Mercedes to replace the departing Mika Hakkinen.
Kimi Raikkonen hit 1,000 points with @ScuderiaFerrari in Singapore! 👏
— Formula 1 (@F1) September 17, 2018
In 2003, he came agonisingly close to winning his maiden championship title. However, he lost out to Michael Schumacher by a mere 2 points. He would finish runner-up again in 2005, but the margin to champion Fernando Alonso was much larger.
Finally, in 2007, he broke the jinx and won the title with Ferrari from Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by a single point. After 2009, he opted to take a sabbatical and race in other series. He was then coaxed back to Formula One by the Lotus F1 team in 2012. He certainly proved that he hadn’t lost any of his speed when he won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the returning outfit.
He returned to Ferrari in 2014 alongside Alonso and has been with them ever since. Over the course of his long career, he was bound to amass a truckload of points. However, one must note that the F1 point-scoring system has undergone several changes since 2001. Only the top 6 drivers scored points in 2001 and 2002. This was later expanded to include 7th and 8th in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.
Finally, from 2010 to present, the entire top 10 have been awarded points. Raikkonen now joins an elite club consisting of Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel.