Formula One veteran Kimi Raikkonen lived up to his reputation as ‘The Iceman’ when he remained ridiculously calm in the face of death last night, stepping out of his Alfa Romeo and extinguishing the engine after it had burst into flames at an Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice.
Not even a dodgy radio connection, which saw the Finnish racing driver tug at the cable repeatedly, appeared to faze him at the Yas Marina Circuit venue.
Another hellish incident was also fresh on Raikkonen’s mind after Frenchman Romain Grosjean had defied death when his car split in two and was engulfed in fire almost two weeks ago.
Raikkonen’s team sent a desperate radio message and the 41-year-old took care of the rest, even taking the firefighter’s hose and wiping out the flames as smoke smothered the track.
“You have a big fire. Get the hell out of there quick,” a team member said.
Raikkonen, who’s now competed in a record 331 Formula One races, had a characteristically relaxed view.
“There was nothing scary about it,” Raikkonen said.
“It’s just a shame that it (the car) gets some fire and gets all messed up, trying to put the fire down. It’s one of those things.
“There is some damage, hopefully mainly bodywork, but we’ll see. It’s just a bit more work for the guys, obviously.”
Raikkonen is now set for a third practice run and qualifying, before he lines up for the final race of the 2020 World Championship on Monday morning.
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