A relentlessly fast and ever-popular figure, Kimi Raikkonen had some epic wins during his F1 career – and here are our picks for his top 3.
Starting at Sauber in 2001, McLaren quickly snapped up the lightning-fast Finn affectionately called “the Iceman”. Whilst with the Woking-based squad, Raikkonen became a multiple-race winner. Sadly, though, he and the team never put together a successful championship season.
This all changed for Kimi when he joined Ferrari in 2007. Here, he took his one and only world driver’s title in his first year with the team. Raikkonen stayed with the Scuderia until 2010 when he left F1 altogether.
He could not stay away for long, though, coming back to the grid with Lotus in 2012. He brought a few wins to the team during a two-year stint before re-joining Ferrari in 2014.
Unfortunately, Raikkonen’s second stint with the Italian squad was not as successful as the first due to Mercedes’ dominance. The Finn finished his F1 racing days with Alfa Romeo, retiring in 2021.
Throughout his career, Kimi’s unphased mannerisms and speed saw him have some memorable moments. But what were the top three wins from the career of Kimi Raikkonen?
#3: 2013 Australian Grand Prix
In his second season after a few years away from F1, Kimi Raikkonen produced one of his top wins at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix.
Raikkonen began the 2013 season opener in seventh, with most people not expecting the Finn to get much further up in his Lotus. However, his car’s gentle use of its tyres proved a massive benefit around Albert Park.
Off the start line, Raikkonen immediately moved up one place into sixth. On lap two, he overtook Lewis Hamilton (making his Mercedes debut) via an excellent manoeuvre.
At mid-race, the variety of race strategies on show saw the Lotus star up to second place. Raikkonen had pitted around the same time as the leaders in the first stint but stretched out his second stint in order to do a two-stop race. By comparison, the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso (second and third respectively) stopped three times.
The Iceman’s two-stopper ultimately proved the quickest method. Raikkonen’s Lotus kept its tyres in good condition whilst those around them ate through rubber. As a result, once the likes of Vettel, Massa, and Alonso pitted a third time, the Finn had a comfortable advantage.
Only Adrian Sutil – also on an aggressive two-stop strategy – stood between Raikkonen and the top spot. With much fresher tyres, Kimi got past the Force India driver with ease on lap 43.
From here, it was plain sailing for the 2007 World Champ as he came home to take an accomplished victory.
#2: 2004 Belgian Grand Prix
Raikkonen was with McLaren in 2004, where reliability proved a constant thorn in the team’s side. But technical gremlins stayed away from Kimi Raikkonen as he took one of his top 3 wins at Spa-Francorchamps.
Starting from the middle of the pack, the Iceman quickly made up a handful of places at the concertinaed La Source. Shortly after, Raikkonen overtook Michael Schumacher off a safety car restart to move into the top five.
The Finn then breezed past McLaren teammate David Coulthard and set off in pursuit of the leading Renaults. This did not take long, though; Fernando Alonso spun in his Renault, leaving Raikkonen to pass him easily. And, with Jarno Trulli pitting just before, the McLaren driver was now leading the field.
Unfortunately, though, there was no easy run to the line for Kimi Raikkonen. Two late safety cars wiped away his advantage; so, Raikkonen had Michael Schumacher directly behind him at the restart. But this didn’t phase the iceman. He dealt with the pressure from the Ferrari and claimed his second-ever win.
Despite this, the day belonged to Schumacher. The German won this seventh World Championship with his second place in Belgium – a record number of WDCs. Kimi Raikkonen still deserves his flowers, though, for taking one of his top wins.
#1: 2005 Japanese Grand Prix
In first place on our rundown of the top wins from Kimi Raikkonen is his sublime performance at the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix.
The McLaren ace carved his way through the field from P17 to the top step of the podium in a thrilling race.
Thanks to a blistering start, Raikkonen made up three places before even reaching turn one. He was then up to P12 by the end of a chaotic first lap which had seen teammate Juan Pablo Montoya crash out.
The Finn was in a points-paying position by his 14th tour of Suzuka – incredible, given his lowly starting spot.
Thanks to a long first stint, Raikkonen was in second when he pitted on lap 27. The stop demoted him to P6 – but he did not stay there for too long. Kimi’s scintillating pace saw him pass Michael Schumacher for fourth, giving him free air to chase the top three.
Once Jenson Button and Mark Webber stopped on lap 42, Raikkonen had an improbable lead. He held this for just four laps, though, before pitting himself. This put Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella in first – so, the Iceman had to hunt him down.
Kimi Raikkonen was absolutely relentless in the closing stages of the race, reducing the gap to Fisichella by around a second each lap. Eventually, the Finn was in striking distance as they entered the final moments.
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Amazingly, Raikkonen pulled off a daring move on the Renault man at turn 1 to sweep into the lead on the last lap. This completed a brilliant run through the field in what is surely the greatest win of Kimi Raikkonen’s career.
Featured image credit: Getty