Cool, calm, implacable, nothing ruffles the feathers of Kimi "Iceman" Raikkonen. The Finn burst onto the scene in 2001 with little driving experience yet within a season he had become a major challenger for the Formula One World Drivers' Championship. His finest hour came in 2007 when he secured his place in the history books with a thrilling championship victory.
At one stage 24 points off the lead, Raikkonen took the chequered flag in the final grand prix of the season to win the title by a single point and claim the most exciting championship in years. Before that race in Brazil most of the talk had centred around Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton but it was typical of Raikkonen to sneak up almost unnoticed to claim the victory. He had already had a great season – his first racing for Ferrari - with wins in the Australian, French, British, Belgian and Chinese grand prix leading up to what would be the most important race of his career.
The Finn lined up third on the grid, behind one of his main rivals, Lewis Hamilton. But after just the first bend Raikkonen had slipped past his English rival and into second behind team-mate Felipe Massa. With Hamilton dropping down the field things were looking good for the Iceman and when Massa took an early pit stop Raikkonen seized his chance. Victory was assured along with his first drivers' championship. He also became only the second driver to win the championship after starting the race in third position in the standings and the first to do so in over 50 years.
Raikkonen was just 22 when he signed up for the Sauber-Petronas team in 2001, his first Formula One contract. Many believed the Finn was too inexperienced for a Formula One licence but in his debut season he proved the doubters wrong. A nine-point haul attracted the attention of McLaren boss Ron Dennis who signed the Iceman for the 2002 season as a replacement for his compatriot Mika Hakkinen. After two runner-up placings in 2003 and 2005 and a consistently high level of performance with McLaren Raikkonen moved to Ferrari where he would find the success he craved.
Prior to the 2009 season Raikkonen had an impressive 17 wins to his name and has won more points than any other Finnish driver. A character off the track, he prepared for his first ever race for Ferrari by taking part in a long-distance snowmobile race in his homeland rather than travel to Australia early to acclimatise. Raikkonen refuses to play by the rules and is one of the most unconventional characters Formula One has seen in many years.