Kimi Raikkonen has always been a man of few words and now those words have been given the haiku treatment ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Raikkonen’s laconic answers to the media have become part of the Finn’s famous persona, as have his vast array of blunt or perplexed radio messages during races.
On Thursday at Suzuka, as Ferrai unveiled a new partnership with Mission Winnow, the media in attendance were given a short book featuring some haikus in the style of the 2007 world champion. A haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry: the first and last lines feature five syllables, while the middle line has seven, although some of the entries are quite liberal with that structure.
Some reference Raikkonen’s most famous soundbites, such as the legendary response to a list of instructions from his race engineer while leading the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: “Leave me alone, I know what to do!”
Others appear to be direct renditions of some of Raikkonen’s most memorable quotes: For example: “Normal/If we all feel normal/then all of my friends are/also not normal”
Some of these Kimi haikus are outstanding, even if a little liberal with the 5-7-5 structure… pic.twitter.com/KdJYHQ9IFq
— Nate Saunders (@natesaundersF1) October 4, 2018
Kimi’s book of Haiku is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen pic.twitter.com/8X1gl3TkjN
— Will Buxton (@wbuxtonofficial) October 4, 2018
— Jon Noble (@NobleF1) October 4, 2018
Formula One’s official Twitter account encouraged others to get involved with their own, posting a reference to his rant about being given a steering wheel during a red-flag period during last year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Here’s an example to get your creativity flowing…
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 4, 2018
The tweet got several amusing responses, including from Mercedes, who attempted to write their own by referencing a bizarre exchange between Ferrari and the Finnish driver during last weekend’s Russian Grand Prix. Raikkonen had been asked to do the opposite to Lewis Hamilton in terms of pitting or staying out but sounded perplexed when he told the team he could not even see the Mercedes driver on the track as he was too far ahead.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) October 4, 2018
Formula One fans have at least two more seasons of Raikkonen after 2018 following his surprise move to Sauber for next season. Many had expected Ferrari’s elevation of junior driver Charles Leclerc to its main team would prompt Raikkonen’s retirement, but he decided to return to the team which gave him his F1 debut in 2001.