Kimi Räikkönen Biography
Raikkonen started karting at the age of 12 and enjoyed considerable success in the sport before turning to single-seater racing in 1999 for four races in British Formula Renault. He had a few outings in Formula Ford and then decided to concentrate on Formula Renault and entered the Winter Series in Britain with Manor Motorsport. He won all four events. Her stayed with Manor for the 2000 season and won seven of the 10 races and was on the podium in the other three events. he also took part in three European races, winning two of them.
Such was his success that in September 2000 the Sauber team tested him at Mugello and immediately decided to sign him up for 2001 as team mate to Nick Heidfeld. It proved to be an inspired choice and Raikkonen finished sixth on his Grand Prix debut in Australia and went on to score on three more occasions (twice finishing fourth) in the midseason. McLaren decided in August to make a bid for the Finnish driver to replace Mika Hakkinen and he was signed by McLaren on a five year deal in September. In 2002 he failed to win a race but looked strong on several occasions and he won his first F1 victory in Malaysia in 2003. There would be more than 18 months of frustration with poor cars before he won again in Belgium in 2004.
In 2005 he was joined at McLaren by Juan Pablo Montoya. The team was very competitive and Raikkonen won a string of races and would have won the World Championship but for poor reliability.
There was further frustration in 2006 as the McLaren was not fast enough and Raikkonen decided to take up the offer to join Ferrari in 2007, as replacement for Michael Schumacher.
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