In looking back on his career, Kimi Raikkonen has chosen an unexpected pick for his favorite Formula One engine…
When asked which of the three Formula One formulas he competed under was his favorite, Kimi Raikkonen gave an unexpected response.
F1 raced with three-litre normally aspirated V10s when Raikkonen made his debut in 2001.
Raikkonen won the Drivers’ Championship in 2007 with a naturally aspirated 2.4-litre V8, and then won his first race in the hybrid era by winning the US Grand Prix in 2018.
Given Raikkonen’s performance in the normally aspirated era and his image as an old-school, no-nonsense racer, it’s maybe surprising that he chose the complex hybrid V6s as his preferred engines.
“I actually enjoyed the [hybrids]!” he told Tom Clarkson on the Beyond the Grid podcast.
“Obviously, when this hybrid came [in 2014], at Ferrari we were not on the level where we should have been. So at the beginning, the driveability probably wasn’t as good as we [were] used to and all these things. But let’s say, the second year onwards, they improved a lot.”
V10s were “crazy noise”
While fans long for the evocative roar of the old V10s, Raikkonen claims that the V6s provide a much more pleasant working environment for the drivers and team workers.
“I like [them] because they’re not so noisy, honestly, because working is much nicer,” he said.
“When it’s testing or something, it’s not that crazy noise all the time, so we can [actually have a conversation].
“Obviously at the beginning [of the hybrid era], it was a bit weird, but also when you’re driving it’s quite nice, actually.”
But, regardless of which engine he was driving, Raikkonen said he never observed much of a difference and that, in his opinion, all of the alterations haven’t really resulted in any disruption to the pecking order.
“We have earplugs and everything, [it] was still noisy, but I think once they got to the level that we are today, the sound is different, but nothing else is really different,” he explained.
“But I think in a way we could still be racing the V10s. People would have just saved a hell of a lot of money on the way and the end result would not change.
“Sometimes the changes have not been done for the right reason.”
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