McLaren driver Lando Norris has revealed that he never really spoke with former Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen in the three seasons they spent on the grid together.
In his 19 seasons spanning two spells in the pinnacle of motorsport, Raikkonen was notorious for two things.
The first was his unrelenting pace and ability as a racing driver – it led him to a world championship in 2007 – the other was his lack of interest in speaking with others while in the paddock.
Outside it, however, he was always the life of the party, as 2009 world champion Jenson Button revealed last year.
“We didn’t really talk in the paddock, but when you went outside the paddock, when the sun went down, things changed,” he said during Sky Sports’ build-up to the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, before revealing that the Iceman had somehow found his way into the Briton’s house after a night out in London.
Norris shared the paddock with the Finn during 58 races, but recalls that his conversations with Raikkonen never exceeded a simple hello.
“I don’t think I ever said a word to him apart from a, ‘You alright?’, like when you walk past someone you know but don’t really know,” he said during a Q&A on Quadrant’s YouTube channel.
The uniqueness of Raikkonen’s personality endeared him to F1 fans around the world, but the 22-year-old is not losing any sleep over Raikkonen’s absence from the paddock since his retirement last year, as there is an abundance of other congenial people in the sport.
“I miss watching Kimi; I miss his interviews and that side [of him]. But apart from that, no,” added Norris.
“There are plenty of other cool people in the world and we have an exciting grid.”
Channel 4 presenter Steve Jones recently remarked that Raikkonen was always a “nightmare” to interview due to his tendencies to appear “rude” when responding to journalists’ questions.