--
 
SA racing legend Gugu Zulu would have turned 41 today

One of South Africa's most successful motorsport driver's Gugu Zulu would have celebrated his 41st birthday today. We take a look at his career highlights.

8 fast cats score trophies at #JaguarSHC

The 10th Jaguar Simola Hillclimb was a successful affair for Team Jaguar, with a total of eight podium finishes for all eight entries across various categories.

Kimi Raikkonen to hit his 300th GP race this weekend but he's totally not bothered by the hoo-ha of it all

2019-05-23 12:47

Herman Eloff

Alfa Romeos Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen rests du

Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic

This weekend's Monaco Grand Prix will mark Finnish racing driver Kimi Räikkönen's 300th race in his F1 career. 

The Iceman, as he was nicknamed by former boss Ron Dennis, made a rather unexpected entrance onto the scene in the 2001 Australian Grand Prix when he finished his first race in the points for Sauber with sixth place.

Few people expected much from the then 21-year-old who was controversially granted his licence from the FIA after having only 23 car races to his credit.

Snoozing to victory

According to The Guardian's Maurice Hamilton, Räikkönen was caught fast asleep merely 30 minutes before making his F1 debut: "As the engineers and mechanics controlled their nerves while preparing for their first proper test of the year, Raikkonen was nowhere to be seen. His engineer eventually found him, dozing gently in a room at the back of the garage." 

This non-chalantness has become characteristic of Räikkönen's career which spans over 19 years and includes 21 race victories as well as the world title in 2007 for Ferrari. Despite a two-year break after the 2009 season, the 39-year-old has managed to conquer the rare feat of completing 300 Grand Prix races – placing him comfortably in the ranks of racing greats like Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, and Jenson Button. 

No big deal

But how does the man himself feel about hitting the big three-oh-oh? Well, he's of course completely unfazed by the big hoo-ha behind it all: "I tried to force them to cancel everything, but I’ve not had very good success so far," he said in an official statement.

"It’s no different from last week or the next race. In the end this is just a number. For sure it’s different from the first race but after that, once you go on for a while, it doesn’t really change," Räikkönen, who despises doing any press, and notoriously likes to troll journos, said. 

Räikkönen, who is currently ranked 9th in the driver standings with 13 points, signed a deal with Alfa Romeo in 2018 that runs until the end of 2020. If he contests the remaining races in his contract, he’ll surpass Rubens Barrichello’s record of 326 Grand Prix weekends.

NEXT ON WHEELS24X

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.