Did drinking problem contribute to Kimi Raikkonen’s exit from F1? – “It might sound a little strange”

Kimi Raikkonen is a legendary Finnish racing driver who competed in F1 for over two decades. Throughout his career, Raikkonen has been known for his talent, speed, and competitiveness, as well as his laid-back attitude and tendency to avoid the limelight.

However, despite his many achievements and contributions to the sport, there has been speculation that Raikkonen’s drinking habits may have played a role in his exit from Formula One.

Here, we will examine the evidence for and against this claim, and attempt to determine the true impact of Raikkonen’s drinking on his career.

Did Kimi drink during F1 career?

Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen. Credit: motorsport.com
Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen. Credit: motorsport.com

One argument that has been made in favor of the idea that Raikkonen’s drinking may have contributed to his exit is that it could have affected his performance on the track.

Alcohol is a well-known impairing substance that can affect a person’s physical and mental abilities, and it is possible that Raikkonen’s drinking could have had an impact on his ability to drive at the highest level.

For example, it could have made him more prone to accidents, or led to a decline in his reaction times or focus.

In Kimi Raikkonen’s book, there is a chapter called ‘Sixteen Days’, which basically talks about how he enjoyed a full bender for 16 days and was completely drunk between the races in Bahrain and Barcelona in 2013.

He was once asked by an interviewer if he remembered any part of it.

“I couldn’t even. Half of it other people had to tell me,” Kimi answered.

“We just toured across Europe and had a bit of fun.

“What’s wrong with it? There’s nothing wrong with it. That was pretty normal, and it happened all the time.”

While he has said this quite casually, there is no doubt that being under the influence may have reduced his competitiveness, and made it more difficult for him to achieve the results that he was capable of.

Kimi once justified his love for beer.

“There are many theories that prove it, you fly better after you’ve had fun (after alcohol intake),” he said.

“To others, it may sound a little strange, but to me it was normal before. I’m getting old.

“Sport is dangerous, I’ve always said it’s more dangerous than drinking beer.

“Normally, if you drink, you don’t get injured, you just have a hangover.”

In the video below, he can be seen pretty drunk at the FIA Gala Awards, but one would think a considerable amount of alcohol is needed to sit through such snooze-fests, or at least that’s the way Kimi must’ve viewed it!

However, there is little concrete evidence to support the idea that Raikkonen’s drinking affected his performance on the track.

Kimi showed his driving skill consistently

Kimi Raikkonen. Credit: grandprix247.com
Kimi Raikkonen. Credit: grandprix247.com

Despite the occasional rumours and anecdotes about his drinking habits, there are no documented instances of Raikkonen having problems with alcohol during a race or even during a practice session.

Furthermore, he has consistently demonstrated his speed and skill over the course of his career, and has even won several races and championships.

This suggests that if his drinking was having an impact on his performance, it was not enough to prevent him from being successful.

Despite the rumours about his drinking habits, Raikkonen has always been a popular and well-respected driver in the sport. He has a reputation for being a true professional, and his laid-back personality and refusal to take himself too seriously have made him a fan favourite.

In addition, he has consistently been sought after by top teams, and has had multiple successful stints with Ferrari, one of the biggest and most prestigious teams in the sport. This suggests that his reputation in the sport was very much in tact.

Why did Raikkonen quit? Was he simply bored?

Kimi Raikkonen enjoying a beer. Credit: gpfans.net
Kimi Raikkonen enjoying a beer. Credit: gpfans.net

A more likely explanation for Raikkonen’s early exit from Formula One is that it was simply a result of his age and his priorities changing over time.

Formula One is a physically and mentally demanding sport, and drivers are required to be at their best in both aspects in order to compete at the highest level.

As drivers get older, they may start to feel the effects of this strain on their bodies and minds, and they may begin to lose their edge.

Additionally, as drivers get older, they may start to prioritise other aspects of their lives, such as their families, their health, or their personal interests.

In Raikkonen’s case, it is likely that a combination of these factors led to his exit from F1 and not his love to skull some booze!

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