Cover Image for $250 Million worth Kimi Raikkonen went full throttle through a cloud of smoke in 2002 Belgian GP

$250 Million worth Kimi Raikkonen went full throttle through a cloud of smoke in 2002 Belgian GP

Tejas Venkatesh
|Sun Aug 14 2022


During the 2002 Belgian GP, Kimi Raikonnen made a risky move by going full throttle through a cloud of smoke.

Kimi Raikonnen is one of the most loved F1 drivers of all time. And most of it is because of his carefree attitude both on and off the track, which has given the Finn the nickname of ‘the Iceman’.

The Finn has been known for rants on the radio, not caring about race commands and following his own mind. And one such early incident of ‘Classic Kimi’ occurred in the 2002 Belgian GP.

The Finn was racing for McLaren and had qualified P2 for the race. He split the two Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barichello who stated P2 and P3.

 

During the 39th Lap, the BAR driven by Olivier Panis experienced a severe engine failure and was forced to stop and retire on the Kemmel straight. Clearly, there was a cloud of smoke over that area that significantly reduced visibility.

The Kemmel straight in Spa, following Radilion is a part of one of the fastest sections in F1’s calendar. Many drivers fear the high-speed section of this track which is known as a ‘rollercoaster’ ride by F1 drivers.

Moreover, drivers are supposed to slow down with caution following an on-track collision. And especially if the car is still on track.

But Kimi being Kimi did nothing like that. The Iceman whizzed past the Frenchman’s car through a thick cloud of smoke.

Also Read: Renault made $21 million offer to Kimi Raikkonen that he refused

What was Kimi Raikonnen insane stunt

Kimi was approaching Radilion when he witnessed the huge plume of Smoke. It was so thick that the race track beyond was not visible. The smoke also managed to engulf Panis’s car, which could not be seen.

Instead of slowing down, the Finn continued full throttle as if there was no hazard on the track. He went full throttle, full speed with absolute commitment and emerge the other side unscathed.

 

This move was so insane even the commentator could not believe it. He said, “One of the most remarkable things I’ve seen in 12 years of Grand Prix Racing. It could have been an accident,  It could have been a fire, It could have been anything.”

If Kimi had done such a stunt today, he would have been heavily reprimanded. The race would have been under double yellow flags or even red flagged and the safety car would have been out.

Also Read: Ferrari sponsors were ready to pay $25 Million to McLaren to give Kimi Raikkonen F1 seat


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