Kimi Raikkonen is one of the most popular drivers in the Formula 1 circuit. His unflappable attitude, apolitical nature, and, of course, his breathtaking speed on the track have made him a permanent fixture on the grid.
It's difficult to believe that a driver who started his Formula 1 career in 2001 is still racing and beating his teammate.
Kimi Raikkonen has had many phases in his illustrious career: his initial days at Sauber, the multiple heartbreaks at McLaren, the triumph with Ferrari, the return to prominence with Lotus and then the years of anonymity with Ferrari again. However, his unflappable attitude and nonchalance have not diminished one bit.
Top five races of Kimi Raikkonen's career:
There was a time in Kimi Raikkonen's career when he was considered the fastest driver in Formula 1. Age and a multitude of other things have caught up with the Finn, but Kimi Raikkonen has some of the most loyal fans out of anyone on the grid even today.
On that note, we look back at some of the glory days of Kimi Raikkonen's career, days and pick out five of his most memorable wins.
#1 Australian Grand Prix 2001
Kimi Raikkonen debuted in Formula 1 with Sauber in 2001 under controversial circumstances.
A driver with with only a 21-race experience faced a lot of speculation about how he would fare at the highest level of motorsports. However, as it turned out, he fared pretty well on his debut: he qualified the car in 13th place but showed maturity beyond his years, as he slowly but steadily climbed his way up to P4 in his Sauber.
In the process, Kimi Raikkonen was able to shut all his detractors who questioned his ability. Soon he was signed up by Ron Dennis to drive for McLaren, and there would be no looking back.
#2 Monaco Grand Prix 2005
Kimi Raikkonen had become a prominent figure at the front of the grid during his years at McLaren, but a potent championship challenge eluded him because of Ferrari's dominance and McLaren's lack of reliability.
In 2005, Ferrari's struggles with regulation changes took Michael Schumacher out of contention for the title, and the fight for the championship boilded down to Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen - the two rising stars and apparent heirs to Michael Schumacher's throne.
Despite McLaren struggling yet again with reliability issues, the Formula 1 circus reached the streets of Monaco, the ultimate driver circuit.
It was in this race that Kimi Raikkonen set himself apart from everyone else on the field. After smashing Fernando Alonso's fastest time to take pole position, Kimi Raikkonen went on to put a show.
Fernando Alonso in his Renault was utterly dominated by Kimi Raikkonen, as the Kimi eased away from the rest of the field to win the race.
#3 Japanese Grand Prix 2005
The Formula 1 track in Suzuka is a challenging one because of a lack of overtaking opportunities. That makes a podium finish at Suzuka after starting from the back of the grid a challenging proposition. Kimi Raikkonen, however, did not pay heed to the script.
In 2005, the Finn started the Suzuka race in 17th place. But by the time the chequered flag was dropped, Kimi Raikkonen was the first driver to cross the line.
In a race where a jumbled grid meant strategy and driving precision were key, Kimi Raikkonen impressed with his inch-perfect overtaking prowess.
Until the last few laps of the race, not many realized Kimi Raikkonen's methodical overtakes throughout the race would bear rich dividends. His last such overtake, where he reeled in Giancarlo Fisichella, was the stuff of legends and would surely go down as one of the best drives in Formula 1 history.
#4 Brazilian Grand Prix 2007
The 2007 season would go down as one of the best rookie seasons in the history of Formula 1.
However, it also saw one of the most remarkable comebacks in the sport's history. Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen were almost down and out when Lewis Hamilton cruised home to another victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
From that point, with ever-increasing tension between the McLaren teammates, Ferrari and Kimi Raikkonen did what they could do best at that point: win races.
In what was a late charge to the title, Kimi Raikkonen won three of the last four races while Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton kept tripping over themselves.
In the last race of the season, Kimi Raikkonen was, at best, an outside contender for the title, with both Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso expected to fight it out for the Championship.
The storyline was flipped on its head when Hamilton encountered a myriad issues during the race that kept him from finishing sixth or above, which he needed to win the title. However, Kimi Raikkonen, who had failed to put together a successful title challenge in the past because of reliability issues, produced a near perfect race to seal the title.
Kimi Raikkonen remains the last Formula 1 champion with Ferrari.
#5 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2012
"Leave me alone; I know what I'm doing".
Kimi Raikkonen uttered this iconic quote in the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on his way to a historic victory on his comeback to Formula 1.
He was making a return to the sport with Lotus F1 after leaving the sport in 2009. But to the surprise of many, Kimi Raikkonen turned back the clock in style. He was consistent, fast, and in the eyes of many, one of the best drivers on the grid that day.
Kimi Raikkonen has achieved multiple podiums, challenged for victories and pulled off some crazy overtakes. What was missing for a while was the final cherry on the top: a race win. But he was able to achieve that in Abu Dhabi after race leader Lewis Hamilton retired.
While leading he race, Kimi Raikkonen looked comfortable (while his race engineer panicked) and took the car home. This was the final cherry on top of a great comeback season for Raikkonen as he finished the season third in the standings