Video: Scorching, Sideways Lap in Kimi’s F12

The Finns are said to have an innate ability to chuck a car sideways. Coming from the snowy, white north can have plenty of merits when it comes to developing the coordination to control a slide, and more importantly, motorsport is almost the national sport in Finland. While ice hockey might actually claim that title, the country has produced the greatest number of rally champions ever, and quite a few spectacular Formula One drivers — including this guy.

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Not every passenger enjoyed the ride with the Iceman.

Raikkonen might be the most phlegmatic driver in the current F1 grid, but his driving style has always been spectacular. While smooth and relaxed, the relaxed Finn seems most comfortable coaxing the rear end out of line to help turn into a corner. His race setup always favors a car that is prone to oversteer and is always willing to make it to the apex cleanly, even at the expense of locked tires and premature tire degradation. This doesn’t have much bearing on a demonstration lap in a Ferrari F12, but it helps illustrate that he’s no stranger to quick oversteer.

Raikkonen cracks jokes while simultaneously making drifting a 700-horsepower supercar look effortless. Not only does he slide the tail out of Fiorano’s slower corners in a balletic fashion, he muscles the car around the faster bends with the tail hung well-out, managing small angles as the car sashays at outrageous speeds.

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Balancing constant oversteer while maintaining a quick line takes a mixture of theory and improvisation.

His ability to keep the car moving forward on-line, despite the tires spinning, is reminiscent of a rally driver’s charge. Whether it’s his cold, Northern composure, his experience in WRC or his penchant for a bit of fun, roasting rubber in Ferrari’s ultimate front-engine machine is second nature for the Iceman.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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