Ferrari drivers’ academy talent Callum Ilott talks about when Kimi Raikkonen surprised him with an unexpected birthday wish.
Kimi Raikkonen is the legend of the sport. Having a career in F1, spanning almost 20 years, the Finnish race driver is counted among the best of this generation.
It would be a great deal for a budding motorsport talent like Callum Ilott to know that Raikkonen knows his birthday. And that’s when it happened.
Ilott said that Raikkonen once surprised him with an unexpected birthday wish when the whole contingent was in Brazil when around 9 am the Finnish race driver approached him.
“He surprised me tbf. It was in Brazil,” said Ilott on Chasing the Apex Podcast. It was my birthday, and first thing in the morning when he came in he said ‘happy birthday’ I was like, how would you know it’s my birthday at 9 am?”
“You know, he hadn’t spoken to anyone on the way in.”
Also read: Callum Ilott targeting F1 debut next season
When Callum Ilott could have substituted for Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen, ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix, detected positive for COVID-19. That meant he would miss the races in the Netherlands and Italy. At that time, Ilott was one of the reserve drivers at Alfa Romeo and was on the top of the pecking order if one of the starting drivers had to miss.
Therefore, it could have led to his F1 debut. But the British race driver had already got committed to his IndyCar services and was in the United States. So, Robert Kubica was called in for the task.
Ilott, at that time, openly expressed his disappointment towards his luck on Twitter but later deleted the tweet. In 2022, the 23-year-old race driver is committed to serving Juncos Hollinger Racing in IndyCar. However, he still aims for his time at F1, which has always been his dream.
Let’s see what this year brings #2022 👀
— Callum Ilott (@callum_ilott) January 2, 2022