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Everything about the competitiveness

    Kimi's dominating feature isn't the 'Finn' in him, not his quietness or his warm feelings for his family. Everything Kimi does is dominated by his undying competitiveness. No matter what fun he does with his friends he always turns it into some sort of a competitive challenge for himself.
- It's a sweaty job to even play ping-pong with him for fun. If I happen to play well Kimi just has to do better, Rami describes.
- Sometimes you just have to let him win because he doesn't stop until he is winning. No matter what we do - cycle or play tennis, his close friend Toni Vilander assures.
- I wouldn't even think of going skiing with Kimi, Mark Arnall smiles after having his share of 'duels' with Kimi in so many other sports.
Kimi Räikkönen always does everything - the least sportive - flat out.

When Kimi bought his wife Jenni Dahlman-Räikkönen a racing horse for a present and tried horseback-riding for the first time in his life he immediately tried to get the horse to gallop as fast as possible. In the end Kimi was shouting in agony asking how he gets the horse to stop.
The wild run ended well when they met an obstacle. After that Jenni hasn't seen her husband on a horse.
Kimi is allergic to horses and cats - and reporters as he likes to say.
Räikkönen's family comes originally from Karelia - from a village called Räikkölä near Säkkijärvi. Kimi's house again is in Espoo Karhusuo - there in the woods like his father Matti says.
Kimi's grandfather's father built the house.
The home yard was Rami's and Kimi's own race track. It all began from a children's mini-sized Italetti-crossbike.
Rami and Kimi competed about everything, sometimes they were wrestling, sometimes they rode the bikes as fast as they could - from morning to night.
- When the boys grew bigger we should have changed the bikes into bigger ones. But they were too expensive, Matti Räikkönen tells.
Instead of new bikes they got the boys two ancient Ladas - Russian cars - model 1200 and 1600. One was red and the other one was green.
- After that our lawn looked like a potatofield. The track was so deep that you couldn't drive home from the road, Matti tells.
That's when the Ladas changed into a microcar. They went to the legendary Bemböle track where Keke Rosberg, JJ Lehto, Mika Salo and Mika Häkkinen started their career.
In Bemböle you could drive three days a week. And they used it it well.
Two brothers who had a passion for driving and only one karting car soon offered the parents a new headache.
- Rami was so much taller than Kimi that we had to adjust the pedals everytime the driver changed. The boys took time with a stopwatch, but not about the laptimes, about how much longer they had to wait for their turn.
- So we had to get another car.
Kimi Räikkönen's first racing class was karting's Mini Raket and he took part in it in 1989 as 10-years old. In 1991 Kimi was 2nd in the class and Toni Vilander won it.
From there Räikkönen jumped to 100 A-class - and won his first race.
- Kimi wasn't in the top in smaller classes because we didn't have money to buy a new chassis. We just cruised around. I think that a young talented driver develops better if he doesn't get to drive good cars immediately. 5th position was a victory for us, Matti Räikkönen emphasises.
Toni Vilander was first a tough competitor to Räikkönen but the boys learned very quickly to respect each other and they became mates.
- Kimi has always been a positive guy who ouzes competitiveness. We left the battles on the track and it was fun to hang around with him. We just became mates. At some point we promised each other that if one of us gets to F1, the other one will be there and support him, Vilander tells.
And he has kept his promise.
- We even went to army together when Kimi postponed his own army service with a year just to wait for me.
Kimi didn't like to read even though he did his homework.
He liked Thursdays because they had two hours of sport education, two hours of handcraft and peasoup with pancakes.
- Kimi wore out two backpacks per winter but not because he would have carried books in them, because he was sledding with them on his way to school, father Räikkönen jokes.
Kimi used to play ice-hockey in Jupperin Urheilijat. Räikkönen was the smallest boy in the team. He was stubborn and gutsy and if he didn't catch the opponent in any other way Kimi threw himself in his feet to disturb him.
The coach was sometimes a bit worried and didn't let Kimi play at all if the opponents were scaringly big sized.

source:Turun Sanomat

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