Kimi Raikkonen is one of F1’s most loved drivers and although he didn’t achieve as many world championships as some of his more distinguished competitors, he was rarely disliked by fans.
On the eve of leaving Ferrari in 2018, Kimi produced yet another prank on teammate Sebastian Vettel, but it was his attitude while doing it that epitomised exactly why he was so likeable.
The 2007 world champion exchanged helmets with Sebastian Vettel in what was an orchestrated move by Ferrari to commemorate a healthy partnership between the duo, but there was nothing planned about Kimi’s response!
By this time, they were both well versed with each other’s personalities having spent four seasons together.
Seb tried to coyly draw a response from Kimi by asking him what would happen if he ended up dropping the helmet, one of the most prized possessions of any racer.
However, Kimi’s response completely blew him away as the Iceman responded by saying that he doesn’t care if the helmet is dropped since it’s fake!
This has been documented beautifully in a video released by Ferrari where the two drivers are posing for a photo after exchanging their helmets.
“It’s a fake one. It doesn’t matter if you drop it.”
Seb was naturally left speechless and had no other riposte than to simply just start laughing.
As it turned out, the helmet was definitely not fake and it was just Kimi’s way of answering a twisted question.
Drivers often exchange helmets and with one another and the Finnish driver did indeed share an original helmet with his teammate of four years which paid tribute to their time together.
While Kimi often did his best to give little away to the media, he couldn’t help but praise the work ethic of Vettel at the time of his departure.
The Finn said, “Obviously he’s a great guy. We had a good relationship always, and a particular way of working!”
On his part, Vettel also did not shy away from complimenting Raikkonen.
“I probably had the best relationship with him because he was so straightforward,” Vettel said.
“There was never an argument. If we crashed into each other, we talked about it, fixed what happened, maybe laughed about it.”
Kimi putting the car into gear without the clutch is wizardry 🧙— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) August 8, 2022
When Kimi and Seb took on this co-driving challenge 🤝 pic.twitter.com/bnwxixAk6R
Another thing that worked very well for the duo was the feeling of mutual respect that they shared for each other.
Not only did four-time world champion Vettel claim that Kimi was one of his most respectful teammates, he also said he was one of the best talents he had ever witnessed on the grid.
While the duo were not able to topple Mercedes during their time together at Ferrari, they did manage to share 15 race wins together.