Kimi Raikkonen is probably the only Formula1 driver who has come into the racing scene with the most unconventional of backgrounds. He started his professional racing career in 1999 and in just his second year as a professional, burst onto the F1 tracks. His entire career has had an extremely strong and constantly rising graph.
He started his career in the Formula Renault Winter Series where he took part in just 4 races. His results in those races were incredible as he came out with a perfect 4-on-4 win record. Due to some major technical issues, Kimi was unable to participate in the remaining part of the season and thus after only participating in 4 races, which he won, he ended up in third position in the final standings. In 1999, he also took part in the Formula Ford Zetec Euro Cup and although his finishes weren’t as spectacular as the Formula Renault, he came away with a respectable 5th place.
In 2000, things became better as he won the Formula Renault Euro 2000 Series. He participated with Manor Motorsports and got back with 2 pole starts and 2 wins in his 3 races. He also won the Formula British Championship, with Manor Motorsports, finishing with 10 podium finishes out of which he won 7 races. He registered 7 pole position starts and 6 fastest laps during the course of the races. But despite all this, his biggest achievement came in 2000 in the form of an opportunity to test-drive his first Formula1 car, a Sauber Petronas.
In 2001, Kimi was given the opportunity to live his dream and become a full time Formula1 driver for the Sauber Petronas team. He made his debut in the Australian Grand Prix and got a point finish in his very first race. He finished the season with 9 points and in 10th place overall.
His career was moving along at break-neck speed as one of the legendary teams of Formula1, McLaren Mercedes, came calling for the 2002 season. Kimi, now, had a faster car, better reliability and that was all the incentive he ever needed.