Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto paid tribute to retired driver Kimi Raikkonen, saying that he was a top class racer and person.
Raikkonen and Binotto go back a long way. During the Finn’s time at Ferrari, the Italian wasn’t at the helm, but he worked together with the driver. Their collaboration resulted in the Iceman and Ferrari winning the world championship in their first year together. He remains the last Ferrari world champion.
When he returned to Ferrari in 2014, he found Binotto leading the team. The pair once again worked together and achieved success before the 21-time race winner left for Alfa Romeo.
With the legend retiring from the sport, Binotto paid tribute to Raikkonen, saying that he would always treasure his friendship.
“I’ve known Kimi for a long time now, I think more than 14 years,” the Ferrari team principal said, as quoted by f1i.com.
“He has always been a fantastic and very fast driver. And I think he is still fast today. On top of that, though, he’s also a great guy.”
“He is one of the few in the paddock that I count as a friend, because Kimi can always be trusted,” the former engineer continued.
“He is very respectful, even if he doesn’t say much. But his behaviour shows that he is a great person. That’s why the whole paddock will miss him, not only because he’s a good driver, but also a great guy.”
Raikkonen left the sport after a long and illustrious career. He won the world championship in 2007, drove for the best teams in the business, took many wins and podiums and impressed one and all with his pace and racecraft.