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How McLaren boss paid $14 Million to rescue Kimi Raikkonen from Sauber F1 team

Janmeyjay Shukla

How McLaren boss paid $14 Million to rescue Kimi Raikkonen from Sauber F1 team

McLaren’s ex-team principal Ron Dennis took away F1 rising star Kimi Raikkonen from the hands of Sauber in quite a fashion in 2002.

Former World Champion Kimi Raikkonen impressed McLaren boss Ron Dennis that the latter did all he could to sign the youngster.

Peter Sauber gave Raikkonen his debut test in the year 2000. He was already half a second quicker than Pedro Diniz and impressed the Sauber boss.

Hence, Peter Sauber signed him up for the 2021 season despite only 23 car races to his credits. Raikkonen was still an inexperienced driver according to media outlets.

Also Read: Toto Wolff on how $16 million net worth driver arrived at Mercedes factory in Brackley

How Ron Dennis signed Kimi Raikkonen from Sauber to McLaren

Kimi Raikkonen scored 4 points in his first F1 season. Throughout the season, the McLaren team was keeping a close eye on the Finnish driver.

Ron Dennis reached out to Peter Sauber to secure Raikkonen’s services and paid out $14 Million in compensation. This was a unique compensation as Dennis did everything in his power to get the Iceman.

The McLaren boss according to Raikkonen’s autobiography gave the Sauber team a wind tunnel and two trucks. These were a part of the compensation and acted as logistic utilities.

Also Read: Former F1 driver Alex Zanardi transfers to hospital after his $500,000 Villa catches fire

The Iceman’s competitive years with McLaren

The then McLaren driver Mika Hakkinen influenced Dennis for signing Raikkonen. Hakkinen said the following to his boss: “If you wanna win, get the Finn.”

In his first season with McLaren, the Iceman scored 24 points and had two podiums to his name. Moreover, Raikkonen signed for the team at a modest salary for the initial first two years.

Unfortunately, Raikkonen was unable to win the world championship with McLaren. However, he did have some battles to remember with Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso.

About the author

Janmeyjay Shukla

Janmeyjay Shukla


Janmeyjay Shukla is an artist who contributes his expressions through words as an F1 writer and editor at The SportsRush. He is an F1 historian who has been watching the sport since he was a baby. Passed on from generation to generation, he has seen the prime of Michael Schumacher to the rise of Max Verstappen. A Mercedes fan from the days of the Brawn GP era, the sport runs in his blood. Besides Formula One, Janmeyjay is a Marketing Head and a musician who loves to sing and play Rock & Pop songs on guitar. His love for sports will never die as he is a loyal Liverpool Football Club fan as well!

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