The Iceman Cometh | Ex-F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen turns Kawasaki MXGP boss

Ex-F1 and 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen is named as the new boss of Team Green Kawasaki for the 2022 MXGP World Championship

Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen

2007 F1 World Champion and firm fan favourite Kimi Raikkonen has announced his post-racing plans with a surprise new role as team manager for the Kawasaki Team Green MXGP outfit.

The Finn has just come to the conclusion of an extraordinarily long F1 career that started back in 2001 and comprised a record-setting 353 grands prix, 21 wins and 103 podiums, while he is also the last driver to win the world championship for Ferrari in 2007.

Having called time on his final season with Alfa Romeo Racing, there were queries as to whether one of sport’s most versatile and dedicated - but fiercely private and tactitern - racers would retreat into a quiet life or take on a new challenge.

As it happens, Raikkonen will throw himself into team management, not on four wheels but on two instead. 

Moreover, he is doing it at the very top as boss of Kawasaki’s factory MXGP effort, though every day team management will be handled by fellow Finn Antti Pyrhonen. 2015 MXGP World Champion Romain Febvre and Briton Ben Watson will be the riders.

MXGP Team Green Kawasaki
MXGP Team Green Kawasaki

"It's no secret that motocross has been my great passion for many years, but this team isn't what you could call my hobby. We take it far too seriously for that. We strive for excellence. After my retirement from active racing, I will take care of the team's strategic issues in the future.”

Famous for his laid back demeanour and unintentionally iconic turns of phrase - “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing…” when being coached through bringing home a win for Lotus and “I was taking a s**t’” when asked what he was doing when Pele came onto the grid at the Brazilian Grand Prix - Raikkonen is also known as a purist racer.

He took a sabbatical from F1 to compete with modest success in the World Rally Championship and has also started NASCAR events, while he is known to be a big fan of motorcycle racing and in particular MX.

He will head up a manufacturer seeking its first FIM MXGP World Championship title, though it got close in 2021 with Febvre ending the year as runner-up.

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