Skip to main content

Iceman Raikkonen silences doubters

November 5, 2012 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
Kimi Raikkonen's last grand prix win prior to Sunday's Abu Dhabi triumph was in Belgium in 2009.
Kimi Raikkonen's last grand prix win prior to Sunday's Abu Dhabi triumph was in Belgium in 2009.
  • Kimi Raikkonen plays down his win at Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
  • The win was the Finn's first since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix
  • Raikkonen won the world championship with Ferrari in 2007
  • The 33-year-old is third in the 2012 drivers' standings with 198 points

(CNN) -- Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen stormed to a red-hot Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victory on Sunday, but the ice-cool Finn refused to get carried away following his first Formula One win in over three years.

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel and archrival Fernando Alonso were both vying for points in the race for the drivers' title, but it was the 2007 world champion Raikkonen who finally delivered the grand prix win his 2012 form had threatened.

The former Ferrari driver, who left the sport in 2009 and spent time in NASCAR and rally before returning to F1 with Lotus at the start of this season, admitted it was satisfying to prove he could still cut it at the front of the grid.

"To be honest it's just another win on the list for me," the 33-year-old told the sport's official website following the 19th win of his career and his first since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix.

F1 champ Sebastian Vettel talks to CNN
India's F1 story

Latest F1 standings after Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Raikkonen has quickly readjusted to life in the cockpit. He sits third in the drivers' championship behind Red Bull's Vettel and Alonso of Ferrari having registered six podium finishes prior to his triumph at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Raikkonen made his F1 debut in 2001 and is a veteran of 154 races starts. Despite his wealth of experience, the one-time McLaren driver admitted it was good to silence those who questioned whether his best days were behind him.

"It's great of course, because it's been a few years, but the wins prior to this one were very similar," he continued. "We didn't have the best car, but we fought and still won.

"It's great to win now, so people will stop asking me if I can win or not, and at least it makes it a bit clearer!"

However Raikkonen knows a poor performance at the inaugural U.S. Grand Prix on November 17 will render his exploits in Abu Dhabi meaningless in the eyes of his critics.

"I never cared really what people think," he said. "If I don't finish the next race, then they'll think that I'm as bad as that race.

"I'll just do my thing, and if I'm happy with what I'm doing and it's the best it can be for the team, then that's that. So I really don't care if people are thinking differently of me now, than what they did three hours before the race."

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 1459 GMT (2259 HKT)
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1516 GMT (2316 HKT)
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
April 25, 2014 -- Updated 1156 GMT (1956 HKT)
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Susie Wolff, pictured, will become the Formula One's first female competitor in 20 years when she takes part in the first practice sessions at the British and German grands prix in July.
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.