Kimi Raikkonen may be McLaren's Iceman but team principal Ron Dennis is not exactly known for being an emotional type either. However, Raikkonen's superb victory at the Belgian Grand Prix bought a tear to Dennis' eye and the McLaren boss was ...
Kimi Raikkonen may be McLaren's Iceman but team principal Ron Dennis is not exactly known for being an emotional type either. However, Raikkonen's superb victory at the Belgian Grand Prix bought a tear to Dennis' eye and the McLaren boss was distinctly fuzzy round the edges at the end of the race.
"Obviously delighted and very emotional," he said, when asked how he was feeling. "On the day he (Raikkonen) delivered. We handled so many issues and challenges through the race with the safety cars and we got it right."
Raikkonen started tenth on the grid after a difficult qualifying in the wet, when the car was set up for Sunday's race, which was expected to be dry. The Finn was up to fifth in the race by the time the safety car came out for the first time, behind Michael Schumacher.
At the restart Raikkonen flew past the Ferrari then homed in on McLaren teammate David Coulthard, taking third shortly afterwards. Once the Renault pair had their problems, Raikkonen took the lead and held Schumacher at bay for two more safety car periods to claim McLaren's first win of the season.
"A tremendous result for the team, the whole day speaks for itself," said Dennis. "It was particularly satisfying when taking into account the safety car deployment on three occasions. Kimi's fastest lap on the penultimate lap of the race was absolutely sensational."
McLaren's poor first half of the season, when Raikkonen suffered engine failure after engine failure, prompted a journalist to declare that if McLaren actually won a race this year, he would run naked around Silverstone.
"I definitely will go and hopefully it is raining heavily, so it will be even more fun," said Raikkonen at the prospect of the journalist fulfilling his promise. "Let's hope that he will keep his word."