Kimi Raikkonen visits Maranello one last time…
This year’s Christmas party in Maranello had a special character, for Kimi Raikkonen who said goodbye to the former team.

Kimi Raikkonen also made his last visit to the Ferrari’s Maranello factory, where he thanked of all members of the team and his teammate Sebastian Vettel, with whom they also exchanged racing helmets.

Ferrari, in honor of his latest world champion, has prepared a special video with the compilation of some of the highlights of Finn’s eight-year career at Ferrari.

Kimi said today in Maranello for Ferrari: “I want to tell you that I don’t want to remain the latest Ferrari champion for long! I hope you will win the championship next year, you deserve it.”

On his final visit to Maranello, Kimi caught up with Vettel for one last time and came up with a wonderful post for his teammate.

“Was nice working with you mate” Kimi posted on Instagram.

After five years at Maranello, Raikkonen is moving to Sauber for 2019 because his bosses elected to take Charles Leclerc instead.

View this post on Instagram

Was nice working with you mate! Photo @calloalbanese

A post shared by Kimi Räikkönen (@kimimatiasraikkonen) on

Robert Kubica has hailed Kimi Raikkonen as one of Formula 1’s best drivers despite his age.

The Pole, Williams’ driver, made his long-awaited return in Formula 1 this season.

Robert Kubica shared his thoughts on Kimi Räikkönen:

“Kimi is still one of the best driver in Formula 1 even though he has some age now. He has been a bit unlucky this season but he’s still good.”“I would like to be Kimi’s team-mate, he is a bit special but I like his lifestyle. He would be one of the best team-mates what you could have.”

Kubica was tipped as a future world champion during his first stint in F1 in which he claimed 12 podium finishes and won the 2008 Canadian GP.

But a one-off participation in the 2011 Ronde di Andora rally dramatically changed the course of his career as he crashed into a church wall and suffered extensive damage to his right hand, arm and leg. He underwent several hours of surgery and suffered a partial amputation of his forearm.

According to reports from Italian media, Mick Schumacher will join Ferrari’s young driver’s academy, after the son of seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher refused a similar offer from Mercedes.

Mick Schumacher, who will race in Formula 2 in the coming season, will follow the footsteps of his father, who won five consecutive world championships with a red car.

“Mick Schumacher will join Ferrari’s young driver’s academy, after the son of seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher refused a similar offer from Mercedes.”

The 19-year-old talent now makes the obvious step up to F2 and will continue his partnership with Prema Racing, the team with which he won this year’s European F3 title and who also helped Ferrari-bound Charles Leclerc claim the F2 title in his rookie season in 2017.

Although Motorsport’s report makes clear that Schumacher is yet to sign with Ferrari, it is claimed that he has decided that a spot in Ferrari’s programme suits better, a move perhaps enforced by Leclerc’s meteoric rise.

Kimi Raikkonen recently released his biography “The Unknown Kimi Raikkonen” in which he reveals a lot of interesting details about his life.

The Finn with the nickname Iceman, who in 2007 became Ferrari’s world champion and has been one of the most popular racers in the world for many years, was especially famous for his wild private life, which was characterized by fun and alcohol, especially at the beginning of his racing career.

In his biography, Raikkonen reveals many details from the beginning of his career from the Formula Renault to Formula 1, where he drove for Sauber, McLaren and Ferrari until retirement in 2009.

Finn thus reveals that in 2012, when he was racing for Lotus, he continuously partying for 16 consecutive days between his races in Bahrain and Spain with friends and a lot of alcohol. Kimi then won the third place in Barcelona, despite his 2 weeks drinking campaign.

The first edition of Raikkonen’s biography was sold out in Finland in a few days.

The season came to an end and now is the time to look at who was the best in every role in the last Formula 1 season. And even if the team principal of the leading teams have more spotlight time, give more interviews and read more statements, there’s many more that do a good team principal. He is the not only the mediator between the team and the public but has also to lead the team in all the troublesome situation during the season. And for that reason, in my opinion, the best team principal is without any doubt Otmar Szafnauer.

The today’s Racing Point team was in the middle of spotlights for the entire 2018 season for many different reasons, from scoring the only podium outside the big three teams, for being in administration, change of ownership. A new team was also being immediately competitive after starting from zero, having collisions between the teammates, disqualification after technical irregularity and at the end official doubts on their status expressed by other teams. And with all those problems, they managed to race in a magnificent way and in my opinion that is mostly merit of Otmar Szafnauer.

Otmar Szafnauer had to answer to many uncomfortable questions in this season, but his answers were always incredibly polite, kind and always sincere. He never entered in conflict with other but always took the defense of all of his people and his team. In my personal opinion, one of the greatest achievement of Otmar Szafnauer in 2018 was that he managed to hold all the team together in the critical summer months when the team future was very unclear. What is more, right in those months they have to develop their cars so they were able to score immediately after the change of ownership. Otmar Szafnauer not only led the team in a remarkable way, but he also convicted Lawrence Stroll and his partners to invest in the team, and that was made with actions, not with empty words. Otmar Szafnauer showed us all what is the most important value of any racing team, the team human potential, and that potential is very present in the Racing Point team.

I wish him a lot of similar good decisions in the future, but not so many critical and stressful situations as we saw in 2018. All the Racing Point team showed us what takes to be a real Formula team, brave and always fighting, even if the situation seems to be hopeless. Without big declaration in media’s, but with a lot of work and efforts that showed up in great results. Perfectly in the style of Otmar Szafnauer, no big promises, and big words, the public was informed when all was already done in a simple, kind and clear way.

In today’s Formula one the media are often used to raise pressure. Otmar Szafnauer showed us a kind of behavior from the good old times. He put always in first plan the interest of the team, of the team members, not the interest of sponsors or corporations. In today’s world that’s something, we can’t see so often. With his style, he is certainly different of other more flamboyant team principals, but he is not a man who talks a lot, he is someone that works a lot. And if we are Racing Point supporter or not, we have to admit that in the 2018 season the team made a great job under the lead of Otmar Szafnauer.

Simon Jazbec

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