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Raikkonen and Grosjean: Steering wheels with a sense of humor

In 2012, the talk of the Formula One community was the ‘Jenson button’ and ironically on the steering wheel for Kimi Raikkonen, there is a button marked with the words “JENSON” and it is right next to the “ICE CREAM” one.
We all know that the Finn loves ice-cream and has a sense of humor, even though he is known as the Iceman!
One of the projects by the Lotus F1 engineers was to create new office environments for their two drivers. The office is of course their cockpits. Romain Grosjean’s has his own stylish look but the one drawing the most attention is the one belonging to the past world champion who magically raced his car to third in the 2012 title fight.

Kimi Raikkonen is one of a kind to say the least. While many consider him moody and rarely smiles, it is obviously that the Lotus team knows their driver very well. Just view the up close image of his steering wheel to note that the E21 designers and engineers understand the Iceman.
Years ago, I had the privilege of being part of a photo shoot of the “never smile Kimi” and we all had a blast, including his brother. Raikkonen would do his standard pose with the straight face and as soon as the photographer was apparently finished, he would break into a big grin. One of the world’s best photographers realized that right away. He got the smile photos also.
At the end of the teaser video that Lotus F1 sent out before the unveiling of the new Lotus 2013 car powered by Renault, Raikkonen broke into one of his rare smiles at the end. Of course the video (see below) also was a take-off on his now famous “Leave me alone ...” comment.
There are a number of high-tech gadgets on both Grosjean’s and Raikkonen’s steering wheels. And yes there is a special “smile” one for the Iceman. We are sure Grosjean does not need to be reminded to smile, but perhaps he needs to “Deploy Angry Bird”.
Only button missing is the famous second part of his comment during the Abu Dhabi race which he won: “… I know what I'm doing.”


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