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Raikkonen's son, and 'new Kimi', both eye F1 futures

Raikkonen's son, and 'new Kimi', both eye F1 futures
© Reuters
As a fresh face nicknamed 'Kimi' ascends towards Formula 1, the journey of the real Kimi Raikkonen's offspring to the pinnacle of motor racing also appears inevitable.

As a fresh face nicknamed 'Kimi' ascends towards Formula 1, the journey of the real Kimi Raikkonen's offspring to the pinnacle of motor racing also appears inevitable.

This week at Austria's Red Bull Ring, Andrea 'Kimi' Antonelli, a young talent mentored by Toto Wolff and a contender for Lewis Hamilton's 2025 race seat, experienced his initial encounter with an F1 machine.

The 17-year-old Italian, whose moniker honours Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 world champion, took control of the championship-winning 2021 Mercedes, and joyfully expressed, "I loved every second of it."

Robin Raikkonen, only 9 years old and son of the esteemed ex-Ferrari and McLaren driver, is even younger than Antonelli. Robin is already swiftly advancing through the ranks of international kart racing.

Family friend and racer Toni Vilander, currently a Formula 1 commentator for Viaplay, praised Kimi Raikkonen's prudent management of Robin's career in an interview with Iltalehti newspaper, saying, "I think Kimi (Raikkonen) is proceeding very sensibly with Robin." He noted a significant trend in the sport, mentioning, "Compared to our day, the biggest change is that everything happens at a much younger age. By the age of 10, you already need experience in Italy now."

Vilander also commented on the Raikkonen family's strategic approach to publicising Robin's achievements, stating, "The family is doing everything very cleverly. They post Robin's results a little later, so that not everyone knows what they're doing."

Ex-Finnish Formula 1 driver Mika Salo also weighed in, suggesting Robin's potential future in F1 while reminding, "Obviously we have to remember that he's still a child," and "so it's completely premature to predict what will happen in the future." He added, "But I've calculated that the entire journey from karting to Formula 1 costs about 10 million euros. And as we know, Kimi has money but also exceptionally strong contacts and an excellent reputation."

Presently, the young Raikkonen is part of the renowned CRG team, which is well-known in racing circles for nurturing talents like Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.

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